Gold dust woman! Stevie Nicks rose to fame in the 1970s as a member of Fleetwood Mac — and she’s since become one of the most iconic rock stars of all time.
The “Wild Heart” songstress was born in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1974, writing her first song at age 16 after receiving a guitar for her birthday. The American Horror Story alum joined her first band, the Changing Times, while attending high school in Arcadia, California.
After moving to the Northern California city of Atherton, Nicks met Lindsey Buckingham, beginning a musical — and sometimes romantic — partnership that would last for decades.
“We were at some get-together and he was there, sitting, playing his guitar — ‘California Dreamin’ — and I walked up and brazenly burst into harmony with him,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer recalled to MTV in 2009. “It was cool, and I said, ‘I’m Stevie Nicks’ and he said, ‘I’m Lindsey Buckingham.’ I never saw him again for two years until he was in a band, and he remembered that night and he called and asked me to join their band.”
That band, Fritz, broke up in 1972, but the pair’s careers were just getting started. In 1975, they joined Fleetwood Mac, which had been founded nearly 10 years earlier by Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Mick Fleetwood. (Green and Spencer had already left the band by the time Nicks and Buckingham joined.)
Shortly after joining the group, the “Edge of Seventeen” singer and Buckingham called it quits, but they tried to rekindle their romance for the sake of the band.
“We’d only been in Fleetwood Mac for a year and a half, and we were breaking up when we joined Fleetwood Mac,” Nicks told The New Yorker in February 2022. “So, we just put our relationship kind of back together, because I was smart enough to know that, if we had broken up the second month of being in Fleetwood Mac, it would have blown the whole thing. I just bided my time, and tried to make everything as easy as possible, tried to be as sweet and as nice to Lindsey as I could be. He wasn’t happy, either. Then something happened that was, you know, ‘We’re done.’ And he knew it. It was time. And the band was solid, by that time, so I could walk away knowing that he was safe. And that the band was safe. And that we could work it out.”
While still part of Fleetwood Mac, the “Rhiannon” songwriter launched her solo career with 1981’s Bella Donna. The album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum within three months of its release, spawning the hit singles “Edge of Seventeen” and “After the Glitter Fades.”
In 2019, Nicks became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, having earned the honor with Fleetwood Mac in 1998 before landing a spot for her solo work. “It’s 22 men that are in twice for their solo work and being in a big band and no women,” she told CBS Sunday Morning of the honor in October 2020. “Until me. So I feel that I definitely broke a big rock ‘n’ roll glass ceiling.”
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Keep scrolling for a look back at Nicks’ life and career: