Stevie Nicks

Stephanie Lynn Nicks was born on May 26, 1948 to Jess and Barbara Nicks in Phoenix, Arizona. Stevie's mother instilled in her a love of fairy tales, fantasy, and magic. Her grandfather, Aaron Jess Nicks, taught her to sing when she was four years old. He was a frustrated, unsuccessful country singer who wanted Stevie to follow in his footsteps and become a country singer herself.

When she was young Stevie moved with her family from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Stevie received her first guitar at the age of 16, and she began writing songs. Her first song was “I've Loved and I've Lost”. The first band she was in was called “The Changing Times”. She met Lindsey Buckingham during her senior year of High School. They joined a band called Fritz with friends Javier Pacheco and Calvin Roper Upon. Stevie attended San Jose State University after she graduated. Since the other members of Fritz were still in High School, Stevie had to commute back and forth almost every night in order to make the rehearsals and gigs.

In 1968, Fritz began their professional career in the Bay area, opening for acts such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and CCR. Watching Janis perform inspired and influenced Stevie. She even began buying clothes at the same store Janis bought them, The Velvet Underground.

While Fritz's manager kept trying unsuccessfully to get them a record deal, the male members of the group were beginning to feel a little uneasy with all the attention that Stevie was receiving. Many people hired the band because of the “little blondish-brown-haired girl”. Because she was the only girl, Stevie felt like the other members of the band never took her seriously.

When Fritz finally broke up in 1971, Lindsey and Stevie remained musically involved, and soon became romantically involved as well. Both eventually dropped out of San Jose State and moved to L.A. to pursue their musical dreams. Eventually, in 1973, the duo landed a deal with Polydor Records and recorded the Buckingham Nicks album. Stevie remembers that she spent her last $111 on a beautiful white blouse to wear for the cover shoot. The end result was that she didn’t wear that blouse, or any blouse for that matter. She was very upset about the cover shot. The album was eventually dropped, and Nicks and Buckingham fell on some very hard times financially. They moved in with friend Richard Dashut, whom they'd met while making the album, and Stevie managed to pay the bills by getting a waitressing job working for $1.50 an hour. In order to “kick them out”, Dashut offered Stevie $250 a month to clean his apartment every two weeks. Stevie's worried parents began to encourage her to set some limits on this musical career that seemed to be going nowhere fast. They gave her six months to pursue her career, and if it didn't work out they would pay for her to go back to school. This inspired Stevie to write a song called Landslide, which would eventually become a classic.
In 1974 (3 months later), she and Lindsey received a phone call from Mick Fleetwood, asking them to join Fleetwood Mac. Despite being poor, Stevie still had to think about it. She went out and bought all of their albums and listened to them, front to back. She decided that she and Lindsey would be able to add something to the band, and the band would definitely add something to their career, so they decided to go for it. The band then consisted of Mick, Christine and John McVie (who were married at the time), Stevie and Lindsey.

The first album, Fleetwood Mac, took only six months to complete. Stevie's song, "Rhiannon", which was about the mythical welsh witch, became a huge hit. Her lyrics were mystical and captivating. She immediately took on a witchy and magical persona with an enchanting stage presence. Stevie's songs were a big part of Fleetwood Mac's success.

Rumours was the band's second album, and it was released in 1977. By then, Stevie and Lindsey's relationship, along with Christine and John's marriage, had come to an end. However, like John and Christine McVie, neither one wanted to leave Fleetwood Mac. Instead, they wrote songs about their feelings toward each other. Stevie's song, "Dreams", was about Lindsey's and her break-up, and it became the band's first number one hit in the US. Stevie's song “Silver Springs” was left off the album because it was too long, and it never received the attention it deserved. Stevie was very upset about it, but she was at least partly happy that her song “I Don’t' Want to Know” would replace it, which was her second choice. The Rumours album hit number one on the US charts and stayed there for 31 consecutive weeks. It eventually would become the 3rd best selling album of all-time, selling nearly 30 million copies worldwide. By the time the band made their next album, Tusk, the band members were barely speaking. Tusk was released as a two-disc album. The album was supposed to be the next “Rumours” but it was produced in a completely different style and the songs were very different. Although it sold 5 million copies, the band was not impressed with its success.

It was around this time that Stevie wanted to begin a solo career. She felt that her music was being neglected, with only 3 or 4 songs per album. She needed a bigger outlet for her music so she wouldn't feel as if she were writing for nothing. She landed a record deal with producer Paul Fishken and he created the Modern Records label just for her solo work. He believed that she would become a star.

Stevie's first album, Bella Donna, was a huge success. Rolling Stone magazine crowned her the queen of rock and roll. She had a tour that could have gone on for months, but she cut it short to record Mirage with Fleetwood Mac. Bella Donna hit number one on the charts, became multi-platinum, and had four top 40 hits. However, the day it hit number one, she received devastating news from her best friend Robin. She was diagnosed with terminal leukemia and was only given an estimated 3-4 months to live. Around this time, Robin found out that she was three months pregnant. She was determined to live long enough to save her baby, even though she was told that she could live longer if the baby was aborted. Matthew Anderson was delivered premature, and Robin died a few days later. This experience was extremely painful for Stevie. Not knowing what to do, she and Kim Anderson (Robin's husband) married in order to get over their grief. However, the marriage lasted only three months, and Kim and Stevie did not speak after that. It was around this time that the Wild Heart album was released. The record went multi-platinum and was a very successful follow-up to Bella Donna.

At this time, Stevie received more devastating news, but this time it concerned her health. In the 70's Stevie began using cocaine and had become addicted. She went to a doctor and he told her that she could have a brain hemorrhage at any time. This scared her, and she immediately sought help at the Betty Ford Clinic. She was given a prescription medicine called Klonopin that would help her rid herself of her addiction.

During this time Stevie recorded Rock a Little, her third solo album. While it was not as successful as the previous two albums, she still went on tour to promote the record. She then recorded Tango in the Night with Fleetwood Mac. It was after this album was released that Lindsey dropped out of the band. Stevie again went on tour to support the album, with new members Rick Vito and Billy Burnette. Her next solo album, The Other Side of the Mirror, was recorded in an old abandoned building. Stevie describes this as her “magic album”.

In 1990, Stevie left Fleetwood Mac for good. She was in the midst of producing a greatest hits album called Timespace. Mick Fleetwood wouldn't give her the rights to her song Silver Springs to use on the album, so she decided to leave the band. Timespace became a platinum album, but it had sold half as many copies as the previous albums. And her Street Angel album, which was recorded next, only turned gold. Stevie had become addicted to Klonopin, and it wore all of the energy out of her. She even slipped and fell during a couple of concerts. She decided she needed to be cured of her long-time drug addictions.

After months of therapy, Stevie was finally drug free. However, the drugs had caused her to gain weight. At the heaviest, she weighed 170 lbs (she's only 5'1"). The critics concentrated so much on her size rather than her music, that Stevie eventually stopped touring. For three years, she would not be seen by the public eye. Some say that she was getting to know herself. In these three years, she wrote several songs and managed to lose 30-40 lbs. Her life seemed to get better.

Then, in 1997, Fleetwood Mac surprised their fans by reuniting for a concert tour. They released a new album, The Dance, and it became very popular with old fans and new ones. Two of Stevie's songs were released as singles, Landslide, and Silver Springs.

In early '98, Stevie began a project for a boxed set, which she titled “The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks”. It’s a three CD set that contains a 64-page photo booklet. To her, it was more intense than putting together an album of all new material. She began her tour for this album two days after her 50th birthday. Trouble in Shangri-La was released on May 1st, 2001. The album features guest vocals from Lindsey Buckingham, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Macy Gray and Natalie Maines (The Dixie Chicks).

Stevie’s career has been long and illustrious. She has earned the title the “Queen of Rock and Roll” through perseverance, unique talent, and the sheer magic of her songs. She has touched so many of us with her special brand of music. It is truly certain that once in a million years a lady like her rises. And that lady is the one…the only…Stevie Nicks.
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