May 26, 1948: Rock Goddess Stevie Nicks Was Born

Stevie Nicks
Photo: Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
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    May 26, 1948: Rock Goddess Stevie Nicks Was Born

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      Sari Rosenberg

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      May 26, 1948: Rock Goddess Stevie Nicks Was Born

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      January 18, 2020

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      A+E Networks

On May 26, 1948, Stevie Nicks was born in Phoenix, AZ. She grew up to become a rock goddess and bohemian fashion icon. The legendary singer-songwriter was first introduced to the world in 1975 as a member of Fleetwood Mac. She enraptured audiences with her gypsy-rocker persona, signature contralto voice and heart-wrenching lyrics. She continues to inspire a new generation of fans looking to find their own inner “Stevie Nicks.” Nicks turns 70 years old today, with zero plans of ever retiring from her rockstar life. She will take her signature shawls, platform heels and tambourine on tour again with Fleetwood Mac this October.

Born Stephanie Lynn Nicks, she began gigging with her grandfather at local gin mills around Arizona when she was four years old. Her father was a corporate executive whose job moved the family to the San Francisco area when Nicks was a teenager. At Menlo-Atherton High School, she met her future love interest and Fleetwood Mac bandmate, Lindsey Buckingham. Through various iterations, the two performed together, pre-Fleetwood Mac, from 1967 to 1974.

In 1975, Buckingham and Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac – then comprised of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie – and soon achieved worldwide fame. Their first album, “Fleetwood Mac,” included hits like “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.” The album hit No. 1, sold three million copies and put Stevie Nicks on everyone’s radar. Her witchy-boho style, whirling onstage dances, beautifully haunting voice, and mystical lyrics captivated audiences. The band’s follow-up album was the mega-hit “Rumours” (1977), which included Fleetwood Mac’s only No. 1 song to date, “Dreams,” penned by Nicks. She wrote the song about the chaotic interpersonal relationships between the Fleetwood Mac band members. To date, “Rumours” is the fifth best-selling album of all time in the United States and it took home the 1978 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

A prolific songwriter, Nicks released her first solo album, “Bella Donna,” in 1981 to critical and commercial acclaim. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, four singles (“Edge of Seventeen,” “Leather and Lace,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” and “After the Glitter Fades”) made the Billboard Hot 100 chart and Rolling Stone called her “the Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll.” Throughout the 1980s, Nicks put out other successful solo albums including “The Wild Heart” (1983) and “Rock A Little” (1985), as well as albums with Fleetwood Mac including “Mirage” (1982) and “Tango In The Night” (1987). However, through all of this, Nicks was battling drug addiction. In 1986, she checked herself into the Betty Ford Clinic to recover.

Nicks continues to share her “crystal visions” with the world. The strength and vulnerability she captures in her music has inspired everyone from Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks to Haim. As she first sang at 26 years old in “Landslide”: “Time makes you bolder.” Happy 70th Birthday to Stevie Nicks. Rock on, Gold Dust Woman!

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