Stevie Nicks is a singer and songwriter. She was born as Stephanie Lynn Nicks on May 26, 1948 in Phoenix, Arizona. She started being called “Stevie” due to the way she tried to pronounce her first name, but it came out as “tee-dee.” Her parents were Jess and Barbara Nicks. Her dad was a corporate executive and her mom was a homemaker.
She’s mostly known for signing on with Fleetwood Mac in 1975 but she did do some solo work as well.
She loved music as a child and her grandfather Aaron Nicks made her a guitar when she was young as well as teaching her some country music, and she even did gigs with him and sang duets at the age of four. Later at the age of 16 she got a Goya guitar for her birthday and used it when she wrote her 1st song: “I’ve Loved and I’ve Lost, and I’m Sad But Not Blue.”
Nicks joined her first band while still in high school at the Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California. The band was called Changing Times and it played folk rock, and Nicks did vocal harmonies. The band patterned itself after the famous group the Mamas and the Papas. Sadly she wasn’t with them very long, as her father moved the family around a lot and they moved to Palo Alto, California.
However, that’s where she met Lindsey Buckingham, who also sang and played the guitar. They had both a musical and romantic partnership. After high school she briefly went to San Jose State College, but didn’t graduate and dropped out in 1968. But this time when her family moved to Chicago, she stayed in California and she and Buckingham became members of a band called Fritz. The band was the opening act for famous singers like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. The band were together until 1971.
But her talent was true and the following year Nicks and Buckingham managed to get a record contract with Polydor Records. And they put out an album together called Buckingham-Nicks, but it unfortunately didn’t get much response. So Nicks has to get jobs like waitressing, being a maid and being a dental assistance so they could pay their bills.
Luck Changes and Successes
But Nicks was soon to have much better luck, when she and Buckingham would be noticed by Fleetwood Mac in 1974. It happened when Fleetwood Mac was at the Sound City Studio, which is where the two had recorded an album, and by chance the one giving Fleetwood Mac the tour of the place played their song “Frozen Love.”
Fleetwood Mac liked the way Buckingham played the guitar and so he wanted to meet him. Buckingham told him that he wouldn’t work with him unless Stevie was included, so the following year in 1975 they became part of Fleetwood Mac’s band. The rest is history, as Nicks abilities took the band to the top of the chart with songs “Landslide” and “Rhiannon.”
The following year in 1976 Nicks had some issues with a strained voice to the point she had to go to a doctor. Plus the band was having issues because it seemed everyone was leaving their significant other! Fleetwood Mac and his spouse got separated, the McVies divorced and even Stevie and Buckingham were having relationship issues.
Thankfully, the group itself didn’t break up though, and put out an album called Rumours in 1977, which was a big hit and stayed on Billboard’s 200 chart for 31 weeks, going platinum as well as earning a Grammy in 1978.
By 1981 Nicks was going to decide to go solo, and she was still considered part of Fleetwood Mac, put out her solo recordings of “Bella Donna,” which actually got number one ranking on the Billboard chart. She did well with the next songs too, putting out “Edge of Seventeen,” “Leather and Lace,” “Mirage,” “The Wild Heart,” and “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” with the last being a duet with Tom Petty.
Nicks has gotten several awards during her career. Firstly she’s the sole female to have gotten inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame, first as part of Fleetwood Mac (1998) and again as a solo singer (2019). She has 8 Grammy Awards nominations, as well as two American Music Award nominations. Plus she’s actually won one Grammy as part of Fleetwood Mac. She was listed as one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time by the magazine Rolling Stone.
She was having drug addiction issues in 1985 with cocaine, as well as problems with alcohol. She ended up in the Betty Ford Clinic to do rehab and get off the drugs and alcohol, after developing a hole in the cartilage of the nose due to the cocaine usage.
Even though she got off them, just a year later she got addicted to Klonopin after her psychiatrist put her on it. This lasted through the 90s. But even so, she was able to tour with the Fleetwood Mac and put out the songs, “The Other Side of the Mirror” (1989), “Behind the Mask with Fleewood Mac” (1990) as well as a solo song, “Timespace” (1991).
She finally was able to get off drugs fully by 1993 and slowly her health started to improve so she could create new songs over the next few years. Fleetwood Mac was back together by the 1997 and put out “the Dance.” Nicks recorded “Enchanted” that year too.
In the 2000s Nicks worked with rock star Sheryl Crow to do a solo called, “Trouble in Shangra-La” and did an album called Say You, Will with Fleetwood Mac in 2003. She also did an album in 2014 called 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault.”
All in all Nicks was quite successful with more than 40 hits in the top 50, as well as selling more than 120 million records.