Women’s History Month: Stevie Nicks
Music has long been an important aspect of everyday life. It can be used to heal, grow, and learn. Stevie Nicks is one example of an artist whose music makes millions of people feel this way.
Stevie Nicks was born on May 26, 1948 in Phoenix, Arizona. As a little girl, her family traveled around the southwestern United States for her father’s job. Eventually, in the early 1960s, the family moved to Los Angeles, where Nicks got her first taste of music and being a performer. She joined a band with her best friend; however, her family soon relocated to Palo Alto, California, and she had to quit the band.
In Palo Alto, Nicks attended Menlo Atherton High School, where she met Lindsey Buckingham, a songwriter and guitarist. They became close, began dating, and frequently made music together.
In the late 1960s, Nicks and Buckingham joined a local band called Fritz where they opened up for big name acts, such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The band disbanded in 1971, but it gave Nicks the opportunity to find what her passion was: making music.
In 1972, Nicks and Buckingham signed with Polydor Records and later that year released their debut album, Buckingham-Nicks. The album was not commercially successful, prompting Nicks to find various jobs as a waitress, maid, and dental assistant.
In 1975, Nicks and Buckingham joined Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and John McVie in the creation of their band, Fleetwood Mac. The band’s debut and self named album, released in 1975, sprung to number one on the Billboard charts and quickly sold over three million copies. Nicks penned several songs on the album, most notably “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.”
In 1976, Nicks and Buckingham split, giving motivation to some of the songs on Fleetwood Mac’s second album, Rumors. Nicks wrote “Dreams” and “I Don’t Wanna Know” about the breakup, with “Dreams” being the band’s first number one single. The album won Album of the Year at the 1978 Grammy Awards.
In 1981, Nicks released her first solo album, Bella Donna, which reached number one on the Billboard charts. The album featured musical guests such as Tom Petty and Don Henley, as well as popular songs such as “Leather and Lace,” “Edge of Seventeen,” and “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.”
Throughout the 1980s, Nicks released several more solo albums and toured after getting sober from alcohol and drugs in the late 1990s. In 1998, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Since then, Nicks has released demo versions of already released songs, done guest appearances on the television show American Horror Story, and been featured on albums such as Lust for Life by Lana del Rey.
I chose to write about Stevie Nicks because she is one of my favorite singers and biggest role models. Her beautiful voice, distinctive and witchy fashion, intricate lyrics, and overall life leaves me awestruck. I relate to her lyrics and love her vibe and aesthetic. Even though Fleetwood Mac and Stevie have been performing for over 40 years, I think their music and lyrics still correspond to some of the problems people face today. I think the song “Dreams,” that Stevie wrote is easily one of the best songs ever written.