~Stephanie Lynn Nicks was born on May 26th, 1948, at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix,
Arizona, to parents Barbara and Jess. She would be followed a few years later by brother Chris.
Her grandfather was
a "frustrated country musician" who saw a performing spark in his granddaughter and taught her to sing duets. The two even
performed at a local tavern owned by her parents, as well as other venues. As a child, Stevie was fascinated with the world
of fantasy and wonder. These two childhood loves of performing and escape would fuse into a successful image and career that
launched her into the limelight forever.
On her 16th birthday, Stevie received a small guitar from her parents and
that very night she composed her first song titled, "I've Loved and I've Lost." A year later while at Arcadia High School,
Stevie joined her first band, known as Changing Times.
During most of her childhood, Stevie and her family moved throughout
the southwest, from Phoenix to New Mexico, to Texas to Utah, and finally to California. She eventually ended up at Menlo-Atherton
High School, where during her senior year, Stevie met Lindsey Buckingham (who, curiously enough, was the man in the duo).
The two joined a band (but did not get to write any songs) called Fritz, which enjoyed some success in the local California
music scene and opened for such superstars as Jimi Hendrix, Janice Joplin and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The other members
of Fritz grew jealous of the attention paid to the striking Stevie Nicks, and after three years the band disbanded. Lindsey
stayed with Stevie and the two became romantically involved.
Stevie would later describe this time as "three years
of practice before Fleetwood Mac." Nicks and Buckingham started a project called Buckingham Nicks, which released one
self-titled album in 1973 on Polydor Records but was dropped right after the album was released. Stevie had to go back to
work as a waitress, and Lindsey worked on music at home. The album, while in no ways a success, did raise the eyebrows of
members from England-based band Fleetwood Mac.
Soon, both Buckingham and Nicks were asked to join Fleetwood Mac and
in 1975, the band released a self-titled LP that was a smash hit. The band later released the album Rumours in 1977,
which sold 17 million copies and went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all-time, with a No. 1 position on the
charts for 31 weeks.
Nicks quickly became the focal point of the band and gathered much of the media attention. At
this point, Nicks had also started a cocaine addiction that would force her to take a vacation from the spotlight in a few
years. Also during this time, her relationship with life-long partner Lindsey had started to wobble.
Stevie, in order
to deal with the troubles of stardom, started to write songs on her own that would never be included in the Fleetwood Mac
library, but would become part of a stellar solo career for Nicks. In 1981, Nicks released her first solo album, Bella
Donna, which hit No. 1 and scored some hit radio singles like "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," a duet with Tom Petty,
and "Leather and Lace," a duet with Don Henley.
Stevie described this time in her life as not wanting to quit Fleetwood
Mac, but a time when she had to release all these other songs. In 1982, Fleetwood Mac reunited to release another hit album,
Mirage, which spawned the hit "Gypsy." Over the next few years, Stevie released two more hit albums, The Wild Heart
and Rock A Little, while taking a hiatus from music to be treated for drug addiction.
When she emerged after
two stints with addiction (one with cocaine, one with a prescription tranquilizer), Stevie appeared heavy and unhealthy. After
facing a media that was hungry for the old Stevie and disgusted by the new one, she felt ridiculed and vowed never to perform
at that weight again, and would later conquer her self again.
Stevie officially left Fleetwood Mac in 1993, but in
a wave of reunion tours, she rejoined the band in 1997 for a box-set release as well as an Unplugged album. She has since
renewed her friendship with Lindsey Buckingham, and has a reunited Fleetwood Mac and the future to look forward to.