Of all the rock and roll queens, you won’t find another Stevie Nicks. Nicks is the goddess of music of any time and recently made history as the first female artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. This honor clearly won’t be outdone any time soon.
However, along with sweeping the world and the record books by storm, Nicks also had some disastrous career and love life fails.
Stevie Nicks went through a lot of painful moments. Fortunately, she’s candid enough to let us in on all of the wisdom she’s acquired. For almost 50 years, Nicks has been wearing her heart on her sleeve, holding nothing back.
Want to see how? Let’s get started!
STEVIE NICKS WAS BORN TO PERFORM
In 1948, Phoenix, Arizona, Stephanie Lynn Nicks was born to Barbara and Jess Nicks. They were typical newlyweds with Jess Nicks as a post-World War II corporate executive. Barbara was a homemaker.
Nicks’ grandfather was aspiring to be a country singer. He built a guitar for Stevie Nicks when she was four and started having her accompany him to local music gigs.
Following a successful tap dance performance when she was twelve, Nicks knew she was destined to perform.
She had no idea what she was in for. During her time at Menlo-Atherton High School, she met Lindsey Buckingham, one of her classmates, singing at a party in 1966. Nicks was moved to “brazenly burst into harmony with him,” as Buckingham played.
Things didn’t go further between them until 1968 when Buckingham called to ask Nicks to join his band called Fritz. A short time later, Buckinghim and Nicks fell in love. Fritz went on to open for massive hits Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Santana before the band broke up in 1971.
Nicks and Buckingham weren’t finished and they formed their own band, Buckingham Nicks.
NICKS GIVES INTO BUCKINGHAM’S PRESSURE
Buckingham Nicks signed with Polydor Records. In 1973 they were largely unnoticed, despite a self-titled album. One thing was noticed, however — the couple appeared topless on the cover.
It’s reported to be the first time a music duo has appeared on a cover of the LP topless. Nicks didn’t want to do the shot. Buckingham, known to be abusive, snapped at Nicks, saying “This is art!”
Giving in, Nicks hid the album from her family and refused to show it to her father. It wasn’t the last time Nicks would give in to the manipulative Buckingham. While he turned down potentially profitable gigs, Nicks was forced to support them both through various jobs.
BUCKINGHAM NICKS JOINS FLEETWOOD MAC
After a few years, in 1975, Buckingham Nicks finally got a break. They were invited to Fleetwood Mac by Mick Fleetwood.
They were already working on a second album and Buckingham wasn’t excited about the idea of joining a new band. Thank goodness that he didn’t win out.
Nicks was nervous about meeting Christine McVie. She hoped that McVie would like her, she was quoted as saying in Rolling Stone in 2019. McVie did end up liking Nicks. The two were fast friends and made a pact.
“We will never be treated like second-class citizens. Because we’re just as crazy and just as intelligent as they are.”
The band and McVie were thrilled with the songs Nicks brought to the table. “Rhiannon” and “Landslide” appeared on Fleetwood Mac’s first album with Nicks and Buckingham. The album made the Billboard 200 list in 1976 with three hits in the top 20.
SHATTERED RELATIONSHIPS: THE PRICE OF FAME
As Fleetwood Mac rose to fame, so did Buckingham and of course Stevie Nicks. John and Christine McVie, though, had their relationship on the ropes. Nicks, too, was still resentful of her time working other jobs and supporting Buckingham while he turned down gigs that could have helped them out.
Even the McVies hit critical mass when Christine had an affair with a lighting director in 1976. McVie, though, became Nick’s mentor as they worked together on Rumours.
“Rumours” made it to #1 on Billboard and won a Grammy for Album of the Year. Nicks would go so far as to have a disastrous affair with Mick Fleetwood.
We’ve only scratched the surface, but no doubt you’ve learned something about Stevie Nicks you never knew before. If you have, make sure to hit the like button and subscribe to Facts Verse for more videos!
STEVIE NICKS LOSES HER VOICE
While the relationships in Fleetwood Mac ended, the band continued on. It was a shining example of putting work ahead of personal differences that is so rare in the music industry.
Unfortunately, touring non-stop took a toll on the band. It was no more evident than in the condition of Nicks’ voice. In July 1977, a concert review by John Rockwell at the New York Times revealed that Stevie Nicks had issues with her vocal cords.
“Her midrange notes were painfully shredded,” to the point that concerts had to be canceled. Reviews of the concerts were not good.
Nicks addressed her medical issues less than a month later in August. “The doctor has told me that my speaking voice is destroying my singing voice,” she said. She acknowledged she had nodules on her vocal cords.
A course of “face saunas,” gargling, and refraining from normal speech was part of the healing process. “I just have to do the best I can do,” she said. There was more on the horizon too, for Rockwell noticed that her demeanor lately was more “cause for concern than for fascination.”
What did he mean by that?
STEVIE NICKS’ DISASTROUS DATING LIFE
By the late 1970s, Nicks found freedom in the arms of the Eagle’s frontman, Don Henley. Their relationship culminated in Nicks’ 1981 debut album, Bella Donna. Henley was featured on the track “Leather and Lace.”
Although Henley, it was rumored, wanted to marry Nicks, the couple broke up. In 1992, Nicks told VOX magazine that Henley had gotten her pregnant. She had also been pregnant by three other men by this time.
She admitted “To give up four babies is to give up a lot that would be here now. So that bothers me, a lot, and really breaks my heart.”
She cleared up Henley’s claim that the song “To the Spirit of the Child” was not written about their unborn child. She claims it was actually about Sara Recor, who later married Mick Fleetwood.
A WELL-MEANT BUT MESSY MARRIAGE FOR NICKS
Fast forwarding to 1983, Nicks was losing her lifelong friend, Robin Snyder, to Leukemia. Robin was pregnant with her son Matthew at the time.
Nicks told the Guardian that she was so grieved she drank half a bottle of brandy and got high on coke every time she saw her friend in the hospital. Robin told Nicks not to come back unless she was sober.
When Robin died, Nicks said she went crazy, along with Anderson, Robin’s husband. They married, hoping to bring stability to Matthews life, who was born two days before Robin’s death.
The marriage was short lived, but Stevie Nicks remains in touch with Matthew to this day.
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: STEVIE NICKS’ DRUG USE
The 1980s were a blur for Nicks, as she was high as a kite through most of it.
She tried to quit cocaine as early as 1982, but slipped back into it. She learned that her coke habit burned a whole through the septum of her nose in 1986. In the late 80s, friends and her parents intervened.
Tom Petty was even quoted as saying he wouldn’t have been surprised if a call came that she died.
In 1986, Nicks was checked into Betty Ford Clinic. By 1989, three hit songs came of the ordeal. Her psychiatrist prescribed Klonopin, which she became addicted to and entered rehab for again in 1993.
This time for the last time.
“My only advice to anybody who is watching me talk right now is to say, ‘Save your money.’ Because it’s gonna cost you $50,000 to go to rehab. You will have to go or you will die,” she said on Oprah Winfrey’s Master Class series during 2013.
ROCK ON, GOLD DUST WOMAN
By 1990, Fleetwood Mac was floundering. Behind the Mask was a flop, and Nicks left in September to pursue her solo career.
There was a brief reunion in 1992 for Bill Clinton’s successful campaign. Nicks and Buckingham reunited just long enough to perform a concert during the inaugural ball before parting ways again in 1993.
Nicks rejoined in 1997, when the band put our their next album, “The Dance”. While she continued to put out solo material, she refocused on Fleetwood Mac, saying all she ever really wanted was to be part of a band.
STEVIE NICKS DOESN’T LIKE WHAT SHE SEES
Stevie Nicks’ self-image suffered during rehab as she saw her weight soar to 175 pounds. By 1994 she decided she’d never perform in front of people again unless she could lose the weight.
She also discovered she had Epstein-Barr virus, explaining why she was always tired.
She did, though, losing 30 pounds in 1995 on a high-protein, low-carb diet.
THE MANY AWARDS OF STEVIE NICKS’ CAREER
Since 1977 Nicks has earned two Grammys with Fleetwood Mac. She’s been nominated for a Grammy an amazing 14 times. She also has two recordings in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Since 1981, Bella Donna has sold more than five million copies in the U.S. alone. The same year, Rolling Stone titled her “The Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll.” Also, one of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time.”
Several of Nicks’ albums — The Wild Heart, Rock A Little, and The Other Side of the Mirror — went platinum.
Between her solo career and time with Fleetwood Mac, she’s sold more than 140 million records.
STEVIE NICKS KEEPS FIGHTING
In 2019 she was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for the second time. No other woman in music history has achieved this honor.
In the end, it’s all ended well. She has loyal fans and many friends. Oh, and she’s filthy rich. The Richest estimates her net worth at $75 million dollars.
Her “24 Karat Gold The Concert” was recently made into a film, and she continues to sing on tour. She has few regrets, except that she never met Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
She’s been noted as saying: “I wanted to hold her hand and give her a huge hug and thank her for all she had done for women, and for all she would continue to do. She was a political rock star. As a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, the first female to be inducted twice, compared to 22 men having been inducted twice, I, Stevie Nicks, induct Ruth Bader Ginsburg into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of Life.”
Ginsburg would probably like that.
While our video ends, the Gold Dust Woman keeps on going. What do you think? Is Stevie Nicks even better than you thought, or has her image lost its luster?
Let us know in the comments.
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