Christine McVie (born Anne Christine Perfect, 12 July 1943, in Bouth, near Ulverstan, then in Lancashire, England) is a retired English rock singer, keyboardist, and songwriter. Her primary fame came as a member of the British/American rock band Fleetwood Mac, though she has also released three solo albums. As a member of Fleetwood Mac, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Christine was born in the small village of Bouth in the Lake District of England and grew up in the Bearwood area of Smethwick near Birmingham, where her father, Cyril P.A.Perfect, was a concert violinist and music lecturer at St. Peter's College of Education, Saltley, Birmingham. Christine's mother Beatrice E.M.(called Tee) née Reece, was a medium, psychic, and faith healer. Her grandfather had been an organist at Westminster Abbey. Although Christine was introduced to the piano at the age of four, it was not until age eleven that she studied music seriously, when she was re-introduced to the instrument by Philip Fisher, a local musician and school friend of her older brother John. Continuing her classical training until the age of fifteen, her musical focus made a radical shift to rock & roll when John brought home a Fats Domino songbook. Other early influences included The Everly Brothers.
Christine studied sculpture at an art college in Birmingham for five years, with the goal of becoming an art teacher. During that time she met a number of budding musicians in Britain's blues scene. Her first foray into the music field didn't come until she met two friends, Stan Webb and Andy Silvester in a pub one night. At the time, they were playing in a band called "Sounds Of Blue" which had a few dates booked, but no bass guitarist. Knowing that Christine had musical talent, they asked her to join. Also during that time she would often sing with Spencer Davis. After five years, Christine graduated from art college with a teaching degree, but by that time "Sounds of Blue" had split up.
Fresh out of art college, Christine found that she did not have enough money to launch herself into the art world, so she moved to London, where she worked briefly as a department store window dresser.
In 1967, she learned that her ex-band mates Andy Silvester and Stan Webb were forming a blues band, Chicken Shack, and were looking for a pianist. She wrote to them asking to join, and they invited her to play keyboards/piano and to sing background vocals. Chicken Shack's debut release was "It's Okay With Me Baby", written by and featuring Christine. She stayed with Chicken Shack for two albums, during which time her genuine feel for the blues became evident, not only in her Sonny Thompson-style piano playing, but through her authentic "bluesy" voice. Chicken Shack had a hit with "I'd Rather Go Blind", which featured Christine on lead vocals. Perfect received a Melody Maker award for female vocalist in both 1969 and 1970. Christine left Chicken Shack in 1969 after meeting Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie.
Christine was a fan of Fleetwood Mac at the time, and while touring with Chicken Shack the two bands would often run into each other. They were also stablemates at Blue Horizon, and Fleetwood Mac had asked Christine to play piano as a session musician for Peter Green's songs on the band's second album, Mr. Wonderful.
Encouraged to continue her career, she recorded a solo album, Christine Perfect; following her success as a member of Fleetwood Mac, the album was reissued under the name The Legendary Christine Perfect Album. After marrying Fleetwood Mac bass guitarist John McVie, she joined the band in 1970. She had already contributed backup vocals and painted the cover for Kiln House. The band had just lost founding member Peter Green, and its members were nervous about touring without him. Christine had been a huge fan of the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, and since she knew all the lyrics to their songs, she went along.
The early 1970s was a rocky time for the band, with a revolving door of musicians, and only the albums Bare Trees and Mystery to Me scoring any successes. Furthermore, a group impersonating Fleetwood Mac (which later became Stretch) was touring the United States with encouragement from the band's manager, Clifford Davis. The tour collapsed, but led to a protracted lawsuit between Davis and the band.
In 1974, Christine reluctantly agreed to move with the rest of the band to the US and make a fresh start. Within a year, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of Buckingham Nicks joined the band, giving it an added dimension. Their first album together, 1975's Fleetwood Mac, had several hit songs, with Christine's "Over My Head" and "Say You Love Me", both reaching Billboard's top-20 singles chart. It was "Over My Head" which first put Fleetwood Mac on American radio and into the national Top 20.
In 1976, Christine began an on-the-road affair with the band's lighting director, which inspired her to write "You Make Loving Fun", a top-10 hit on the landmark smash Rumours, one of the best-selling albums of all-time. Her biggest hit was "Don't Stop", which climbed all the way to #3. The Rumours tour also included Christine's "Songbird", a ballad played as the encore of many Fleetwood Mac concerts.
By the end of the Rumours tour, the McVies had divorced. The 1979 double album Tusk produced three more US top-20 hits ("Tusk", which is also the band's first "conceptual" music video, "Sara", and Christine's "Think About Me"), but it came nowhere near to matching the success of the Rumours album. The Tusk tour continued into 1980, after which, the band took time apart. They reunited in 1981 to record the album Mirage at the Chateau's d'Herouvil studio in France. The album, released in 1982, returned the band to the top of the US charts and also contained the top-5 hit "Hold Me", co-written by Christine. Christine's inspiration for the song was her tortured relationship with drummer of The Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson. Her song, "Love in Store", became the third single from the album peaking at #22 in early 1983.
In 1984, Christine decided to record another solo album. She created hits with the songs "Got a Hold on Me" (Top 10 pop and #1 adult contemporary) and "Love Will Show Us How" (#30). Christine is quoted in The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits as saying of her solo album, "Maybe it isn't the most adventurous album in the world, but I wanted to be honest and please my own ears with it."
She also met keyboardist Eddy Quintela (12 years her junior), whom she married on October 18, 1986. Quintela would go on to co-write many songs with her that would be featured on subsequent Fleetwood Mac albums. The couple divorced in the mid-1990s.
After covering the Elvis Presley standard "Can't Help Falling in Love" for the Ted Danson /Howie Mandel film A Fine Mess, she rejoined Fleetwood Mac to record the Tango in the Night album, which went on to become the band's biggest success since Rumours ten years earlier. The biggest hit from the album which was top 5 in both the UK and US, was Christine's "Little Lies", co-written with her husband Quintela. Another McVie single from the album, "Everywhere", reached #4 in the UK, which would be the band's third highest ever chart peak there and their final top 40 UK hit to date (the single peaked at #14 in the US).
In 1990, the band (now without Lindsey Buckingham) recorded Behind the Mask, but the album only reached 'Gold' status in the U.S. and only Christine's song "Save Me" made the US Top 40. The album did, however, enter the UK album chart at #1 and reached Platinum status there. The second US single release from the album, Christine's "Skies the Limit" did not make the top 100 but did chart the A/C at number 10. Christine had always been reluctant to go on concert tours, preferring to stay close to home with friends and family. Upon the death of her father, Cyril Perfect, while she was touring for Behind the Mask, Christine made the decision to retire from touring altogether. Despite the departure of Stevie Nicks, Christine remained loyal to Mick Fleetwood and her former husband, writing and recording a new track ("Love Shines") for the 1992 boxed set 25 years - The Chain, and five songs for the band's 1995 album Time.
The members of the band seemed to have gone their separate ways until Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham got together again for one of Buckingham's solo projects. Christine McVie was soon asked to sing and play on some of the tracks. The four of them decided a full reunion was possible and Stevie Nicks was called back into the fold and the resulting live album, 1997's The Dance, went to #1 in the US album charts. Despite her reservations, Christine complied with the band's touring schedule, and then performed for the group's 1998 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the Grammy Awards show, and the BRIT Awards in the UK. Thereafter, she retired from Fleetwood Mac altogether.
In 2006, Paste magazine named McVie, together with bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, as the 83rd greatest living songwriter or songwriting team.
Life after Fleetwood MacEdit
In the years after The Dance, Christine returned to England to be near her family and stepped out of public view almost completely, although in 2000 she appeared in public to receive an Honorary Dectorate in Music from the University of Greenwich, England. Sometime after leaving Fleetwood Mac, she and Quintela divorced. In a 2004 interview, she admitted to not listening much to pop music anymore and instead prefers Classic FM.
In December 2003, she went to see Fleetwood Mac's last UK performance on the Say You Will tour in London, but did not join her former bandmates on the stage.
Mid-2004 saw the release of Christine's new solo album, In The Meantime, her third in a career spanning five decades. Recorded in her converted barn in East Kent, Christine worked on the project with her nephew, Dan Perfect, who contributed guitar-playing, backing vocals, and songwriting. There was no tour to accompany this album, though Christine consented to a limited number of press interviews in the UK and the US. In 2006, Christine was awarded the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Gold Badge of Merit at a ceremony held in London's Savoy Hotel.
Once again, in November 2009, Christine went to see Fleetwood Mac's last UK performance on their Unleashed tour in London, but did not join her former bandmates on the stage.
In 2012, upon the announcement of Fleetwood Mac's 2012 world tour, Stevie Nicks downplayed the likelihood of McVie ever rejoining the group, stating "She went to England and she has never been back since 1998 ... as much as we would all like to think that she'll just change her mind one day, I don't think it'll happen ... We love her, so we had to let her go."