Nicks was invited to join Fleetwood Mac in 1975 after Mick Fleetwood heard "Frozen Love", a song she wrote and recorded with then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham. Initially, Fleetwood only intended to hire Lindsey Buckingham, but Buckingham told him: "We're a package deal." Their first album after the addition of Nicks and Buckingham produced four Top 40 singles and hit #1 on the album charts. With the commercial success of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album in 1977, Fleetwood Mac gained international fame.
Nicks began her solo career in 1981 with Bella Donna, and she has produced five more solo studio albums to date. She was crowned "The Queen of Rock and Roll" by Rolling Stone magazine in a cover feature article of her in 1981 after the release of Bella Donna.
Nicks has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, and, with Fleetwood Mac, won the 1977 Grammy for Album of the Year for Rumours. As a member of Fleetwood Mac, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Her mother fostered in her a love for fairy tales, while her grandfather, a struggling country singer, began teaching her to sing at the age of four. Stevie has a brother named Christopher who was married to Lori Perry, one of Stevie's backup singers and ex-wife of producer Gordon Perry.
With the Goya guitar she received for her sixteenth birthday, Nicks wrote her first song called "I've Loved and I've Lost, and I'm Sad But Not Blue". She joined her first band "The Changing Times," named after a Bob Dylan song, while attending Arcadia High School in Arcadia, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles.
Nicks first met her future musical and romantic partner Lindsey Buckingham during her senior year at Menlo Atherton High School. She and Buckingham attended a religious meeting called Young Life, where they performed a duet of "California Dreamin'". Buckingham contacted Nicks a few years later and asked her to join him and his bandmates Javier Pacheco and Calvin Roper in a band called Fritz. Fritz became popular as a live act from 1968 until 1972. Fritz opened for popular musicians Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, among others, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both Nicks and Buckingham attended San Jose State University in Northern California, where Nicks majored in Speech Communication.
Using tracks from the demo tapes, Polydor released the album Buckingham Nicks in 1973. Nicks and Buckingham composed original material for the album, which included "Frozen Love", one of the few songs that the two have written together. The album featured Buckingham's distinctive finger-picking style on both electric and acoustic guitars, as well as the pair's melodic vocals. Buckingham's songs included blues-rock ("Don't Let Me Down Again"), funk ("Lola (My Love)"), and instrumental folk ("Stephanie", "Django"), while Nicks' material was more pop-inspired ("Crying in the Night") and romantic ("Crystal"). The cover portrait shows Nicks and Buckingham in a topless pose.
The album was not a commercial success, despite the live shows that Nicks and Buckingham performed together to support it. Polydor dropped them from the recording label. To support herself and Buckingham, who wrote music and practiced guitar while recovering from mononucleosis, Nicks worked a variety of jobs, which included waiting tables and a stint cleaning engineer/producer Keith Olsen's house, where Nicks and Buckingham lived for a time.
Nicks and Buckingham briefly relocated to Aspen, Colorado. While there, Buckingham landed a guitar-playing gig with the Everly Brothers. Buckingham toured with them, while Nicks stayed behind. During this time, Nicks wrote "Rhiannon" and "Landslide".
In 1975, the band released a self titled album Fleetwood Mac which went to the number one spot and had several top twenty songs in 1976. Nicks' "Rhiannon," which was to become one of her signature songs, reached #11. The enduring and introspective "Landslide" became a popular radio item.
Fleetwood Mac's second album with their new lineup, Rumours, began recording in early 1976 and continued until late in the year. Sessions were dogged by faulty drum tracks, disintegrating tapes, and the tension between the band members, which influenced the songwriting.
Nicks' contributions were the jaunty, tight harmony "I Don't Want to Know" (intended for a second Buckingham Nicks album in 1974); the dark, mystical "Gold Dust Woman", a diatribe about the dangers of cocaine and the rock and roll lifestyle; the dramatic "Silver Springs", a b-side about her relationship with Buckingham; and the atmospheric "Dreams", which became the band's only Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit single. Other songs written for the album, but released later, included "Think About It" (recorded for Bella Donna) and "Planets of the Universe" (recorded for Trouble in Shangri-La). Both these tracks were reissued on the expanded and remastered edition of Rumours in 2004. Nicks was devastated when "Silver Springs" was omitted from Rumours, only released as a B-side to "Go Your Own Way." The record label left it off because it was too long to fit onto the vinyl LP with the other tracks.
Rumours was released to widespread acclaim in February 1977. It became one of the best-selling albums of all time, selling more than 19 million copies in the U.S., and spending 31 weeks atop the Billboard 200 album chart, being finally replaced by Linda Ronstadt's Simple Dreams. The ensuing tour was another success for the band, during which time they all began relationships outside the group. During this period, Nicks had a relationship with singer/songwriter Don Henley of the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac concert promoter David Pesnell which would influence her next batch of songs.
After a successful album and tour in 1977–78, Fleetwood Mac began recording their third album in the spring of 1978. Driven largely by Lindsey Buckingham, Tusk ventured into more experimental territory, incorporating odd percussion and arrangements, mostly applied to Buckingham's songs. The band's unorthodox work ethic and their use of cocaine led to the album costing approximately $1 million, the most expensive album ever made at the time.
Nicks' contributions to the album mainly focused on her romantic relationships with Pesnell and Henley during this period. The somber "Storms" and piano ballad "Beautiful Child" were speculated to be about her doomed relationship with Mick Fleetwood, while the Billboard Hot 100 #7 hit "Sara" alluded to her relationships with Fleetwood and Pesnell.
Nicks hinted at the sound of her future solo projects on the rock-inspired "Angel" and the dark "Sisters of the Moon", (which reached a disappointing #86 on the Billboard Hot 100) about her hectic touring schedule being handled by Pesnell at the time. Nicks also attempted to record another up-tempo rock number, "The Dealer", for Tusk, but it was shelved.
During this time, Mick Fleetwood left his wife for Nicks's best friend Sara Recor, adding to tension between the bandmates. During the tour for Tusk, in March 1980, Lindsey Buckingham mocked Nicks on stage and kicked her. When interviewed about it later, Buckingham was unable to remember his actions, but did not deny that it could have happened.
Around this time, Nicks recorded two duets that became hits: with Kenny Loggins on "Whenever I Call You Friend", and with John Stewart on "Gold". During 1979, while work for Tusk was still ongoing, Nicks began laying down early demos for a solo album. During the exhaustive year-long world tour for the album, in 1979–80, she continued to write and gather material for a new project outside Fleetwood Mac. She ended her relationship with Henley at the beginning of the tour, but her relationship continued with Pesnell until it was ended at the end of the concert tour.
By 1978, Nicks became concerned with an increasing backlog of songs, dating back to her Buckingham Nicks days, that she was unable to record and release with Fleetwood Mac, due to the constraint of having three songwriters. With Danny Goldberg and Paul Fishkin, Nicks founded Modern Records, a vehicle to record and release her own material. During the making and touring of the Tusk album, Nicks began working on demos for a planned solo record.
The earliest band sessions for the album came in April 1980 with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Tom Moncrieff, tracking songs including an early version of "Gypsy". Further work commenced once the Tusk tour ended in late 1980, with sessions lasting from then until the spring of the following year, helmed by Jimmy Iovine and featuring various contributions from Petty and his band. During 1981 Nicks toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and New Zealand band Split Enz as a guest.
In an effort to provide an outlet for the numerous songs she had written that would not be recorded by Fleetwood Mac, Nicks began working on a solo album in 1980. She released Bella Donna on July 27, 1981. Its lead single, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around", was a collaboration with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and it reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other singles included "Leather and Lace" (#6) with Don Henley, "Edge of Seventeen" (#11), and "After the Glitter Fades" (#32).
Bella Donna reached #1 on the Billboard 200, and as of 1990 it is certified four times platinum. The short, successful White Winged Dove tour resulted, with Nicks performing many of her Fleetwood Mac songs like "Dreams", "Sara", "Angel" and "Rhiannon", the aforementioned singles, other Bella Donna album tracks like "How Still My Love", and non-album tracks like "Gold and Braid", "Blue Lamp", and Petty's "I Need to Know". The day Bella Donna reached #1 on the Billboard 200, Nicks' best friend since the age of 15, Robin Anderson, was diagnosed with leukemia.
Half of the album's ten tracks were new material, and the other half had been written in years past, but all were recorded between 1980 and 1981. The new songs included "Bella Donna", "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around", "Edge of Seventeen", "How Still My Love", and "Outside the Rain", while older material included "After the Glitter Fades" (1972), "Think About It" (1974–75), "Leather and Lace" -- originally written for Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter to sing, "Kind of Woman" (1975), and "The Highwayman" (1975).
Other songs recorded during the album sessions that were not included on the album and have never been released included "If You Were My Love", "The Dealer", "Julia", among others. Nicks performed another unreleased song, "Gold and Braid", during the White Winged Dove tour in late 1981. Two songs recorded for the album, but cut from the final version, were released on soundtracks: "Blue Lamp" on the Heavy Metal soundtrack; and "Sleeping Angel" for Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Bella Donna was the first album to feature Nicks's back-up singers, Sharon Celani and Lori Perry. Nicks met Perry in the mid-1970s while working with her then-husband, producer Gordon Perry. Nicks asked Perry to contribute back-up vocals for the tracks that she was working on, and the two became friends. During a trip to Hawaii, Nicks met Celani in a club where Celani was performing. The two bonded onstage during a rendition of "Poor Pitiful Me". Celani later accepted Nicks's invitation to join her forthcoming solo project. Sharon Celani and Lori Perry-Nicks, who is married to Nicks' brother, have contributed vocals to all of Nicks's solo albums since then.
Her December 12 and December 13, 1981 performances at the Fox Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills, California were filmed for a one-hour video and laserdisc entitled Stevie Nicks In Concert, or White Winged Dove in Australia and other markets. The concert also aired on HBO. The concerts featured Waddy Wachtel on guitar, Roy Bittan on piano, Benmont Tench on organ, and Russ Kunkel on drums. Nicks had to cut this tour short to record the Mirage album with Fleetwood Mac.
Nicks contributed the track "Gypsy", a song originally tested for Bella Donna, became one of Mirage's hit singles, reaching #12 on the charts and featuring an award-winning video. Nicks's other tracks included "That's Alright", written during the Buckingham Nicks era, and a new track entitled "Straight Back".
Playing up to the media image of Fleetwood Mac as two sparring, romantically entangled couples, Mirage was released in June 1982 with a cover photo featuring Nicks in the arms of her former partner, Lindsey Buckingham. The album quickly went double platinum and spent a considerable amount of time on the album charts, producing several hit singles. The short Mirage tour took place between September and October 1982, and included Nicks' performance of "Sisters of the Moon", her 1979 Tusk album track and concert encore.
Other Nicks' songs considered for the album but unreleased include another version of "If You Were My Love", also tried for Bella Donna, and "Smile At You", originally planned for Tusk and finally issued more than two decades later on Fleetwood Mac's Say You Will album. After the tour, Nicks prepared to record her second solo album.
Nicks released The Wild Heart on June 10, 1983. The album featured much the same cast of musicians and producers, but it also introduced songwriter and performer Sandy Stewart who lent a synthesized sound prevalent in early 1980s rock music.
The Wild Heart went double platinum, reached #5 on the Billboard 200, and featured three hit singles: "Stand Back" (Billboard #5), "If Anyone Falls" (#14), and "Nightbird" (#33). Nicks says that she got the musical idea for the song "Stand Back" from Prince's "Little Red Corvette", and that Prince himself laid down some of the synthesizer parts used on the studio track. She adds that he declined credit for his minor contributions. Several promo only singles (songs released exclusively to radio) placed on the Mainstream Rock chart: "Enchanted" (#12); "Nothing Ever Changes" (#19); and "I Will Run to You" (#35), another duet with Tom Petty. A lesser-known track, "Beauty and the Beast", featured lyrics devoted to Mick Fleetwood with whom Nicks later admitted to having a short love affair in the late 1970s.
On Memorial Day weekend (May 28 - May 30, 1983), Nicks performed a 90-minute set at the second US Festival at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, California. She toured from June 1983 to November 1983 throughout the United States in support of The Wild Heart album, playing sports arenas and amphitheaters. Her band included Waddy Wachtel on lead guitar, Wizard on bass, Benmont Tench on organ, Roy Bittan on piano and electric piano, Liberty DeVitto on drums, and Bobbye Hall on percussion. The songs "Beauty and the Beast", "Stand Back", and "If Anyone Falls", all from The Wild Heart album, were mainstays of the tour set that year. While promoting the album on MTV, Nicks admitted that her favorite song from the set was "Nightbird", a thematic successor to "Edge of Seventeen".
A variety of songs were recorded for the album, but only ten made it to the final version. The title song, "Wild Heart", was partially written during 1981, and footage exists from a Rolling Stone magazine cover photo shoot where Nicks, while getting her make-up done, sings the work-in-progress to the instrumental line from Lindsey Buckingham's "Can't Go Back" (from Mirage).
Following the tour for The Wild Heart, Nicks commenced work on her third solo album. Originally titled Mirror Mirror, Nicks recorded a host of dark and angry rock songs for the projected album during 1984 and 1985, including "Mirror Mirror", "Thousand Days", "Running Through the Garden", and "At the Fair". However, Nicks was unhappy with the recordings for the album "Mirror Mirror", and instead scrapped the planned album, opting to record a different batch of songs in 1985.
Rock a Little, as it was re-titled, was released November 18, 1985 and issued to platinum success the next month. It showcased a harder-edged Nicks, both in her songs and her ragged vocal performances. The album hit #12 on the Billboard 200, and scored more hit singles: "Talk To Me" (#4), "I Can't Wait" (#16), and "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You", a lyric for the Eagles member Joe Walsh (#60). A solo outing with Tom Petty and Bob Dylan in Australia came after, but Nicks was threatened by Australian authorities with expulsion from the country for not carrying a work permit. The tour marked a striking point in Nicks' career. Although she had achieved significant critical acclaim, drugs were taking a toll on her performing, limiting her vocal range and pitch severely and changing her on-stage persona. It was at the end of the Australian tour that Nicks checked herself into the Betty Ford Center to recuperate and wean herself off of her all-consuming cocaine addiction.
Following the release of Rock A Little, Nicks toured in 1985–86. Widely successful, the tour resulted in a one-hour filmed concert released on VHS/DVD as Stevie Nicks: Live at Red Rocks, filmed at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado in August. The tour ended on October 10, 1986 in Sydney, Australia.
Though set back by Buckingham's departure, Fleetwood Mac eventually toured anyway, replacing Buckingham with Rick Vito and Billy Burnette for the Shake The Cage Tour from September to December 1987. The set-list included "Stand Back" which would later be performed on every Fleetwood Mac tour in which Nicks participated. However, the set-list had some major omissions mid-tour (especially "Rhiannon" and "Gypsy"), several shows had to be delayed or canceled and the tour was cut short (particularly, dates in Australia were canceled and European dates were pushed forward to May 1988) due to Nicks' bout with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (in addition to her dependence on tranquilizers). A concert performed at the Cow Palace in San Francisco was taped and released on video and later on DVD.
Tango in the Night had returned Fleetwood Mac to huge critical and commercial success on the tenth anniversary of Rumours. The surge in popularity led to the release of their Greatest Hits album in November 1988. The new line-up recorded two new songs for the release, Christine McVie's "As Long as You Follow" and Nicks' "No Questions Asked". The album, which became a major chart fixture, has sold more than eight million copies to date in the US alone.
In 1988, at age 40, Nicks began work on a fourth solo album with producer Rupert Hine.
Nicks released The Other Side of the Mirror on May 11, 1989. It was recorded in the Netherlands, Buckinghamshire, England, and Los Angeles. The album is themed loosely around Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and features imagery of castles, princesses, and burning houses. The album reached #10 on the U.S. Billboard album charts, propelled by the major hit single "Rooms on Fire" (#16), written about the album’s producer and Nicks’ love interest Rupert Hine, the album eventually achieved platinum status.
Although sales were not as solid as previous releases, the album nevertheless went platinum. It also includes the single "Two Kinds of Love", a duet with Bruce Hornsby (and including a solo from Kenny G) and "Juliet", a new version of the instrumental b-side to Fleetwood Mac's 1987 "Seven Wonders" single, "Book of Miracles". "Two Kinds of Love" proved to be Nicks' first solo flop, failing to make the Billboard Hot 100. Instead, "Long Way to Go" gained airplay, reaching #11 on Billboard's Rock Track chart. Although never a single in the United States, Nicks treated "Whole Lotta Trouble" as the follow up, releasing a video clip and including it on later greatest hits packages like TimeSpace, Enchanted, and Crystal Visions. Nicks voice was more powerful and melodic than on her previous two recordings (solo and with Fleetwood Mac), but it also developed a nasal quality attributed to her cocaine abuse and subsequent dependence on tranquilizers.
The album's other material found Nicks in melodic mood, with the likes of "Ghosts" and "Fire Burning", and the record also featured the epic Lewis Carroll-inspired "Alice" and a dark, cautionary tale about the end of her drug addiction on the dramatic "Doing the Best I Can (Escape from Berlin)". Nicks also included a cover of Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone (Blue Eyes)".
A tour of the U.S. and Europe from August to November 1989 was modestly successful. This was the first and last time she toured Europe as a solo-act. A fact that many of her European fans do not like at all.
In 1989, Nicks set to work with Fleetwood Mac on a new album. This was the first studio album with the new line-up featuring Vito and Burnette (though this line-up had already recorded two new songs that were featured on the 1988 Greatest Hits album).
Nicks' contributions included the co-writes "Love is Dangerous", "Freedom", and "The Second Time", as well as her self-penned, melodic "Affairs of the Heart". The album, entitled Behind the Mask, was released to mixed reviews on April 10, 1990. The album was certified Gold and still hit the Top 20 on the Billboard 200, but it was nowhere near the level of success of previous Fleetwood Mac albums, and it is one of the band's least commercially - and critically - successful albums. Despite its more modest success in the US, Behind The Mask entered the UK album chart at no.1 and has been certified Platinum there. After the Behind the Mask tour (on the last night, Buckingham and Nicks reunited to perform "Landslide"), Nicks left the group to concentrate on her solo career, and Christine McVie retired from touring.
The compilation included some of her most commercially successful fully re-mastered hit singles, including "Stand Back", "Edge of Seventeen", "I Can't Wait", and "Rooms on Fire", as well as lesser-known songs such as "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You" and "Beauty and the Beast". The album eventually went platinum in 1997.
Fleetwood Mac also released a four-disc box set, 25 Years - The Chain, in November 1992 featuring songs spanning the band's entire career, although focusing much more on the 1975–87 era. The compilation, later also issued as a slimmer two-disc volume,and featured album tracks, b-sides, alternate mixes, and previously unreleased tracks like "Heart of Stone", "Love Shines", "Make Me a Mask", and "Paper Doll" (which Nicks co-wrote).
During the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign, Bill Clinton used the Fleetwood Mac hit "Don't Stop" (written by Christine McVie) as his campaign theme song. The Rumours-era line-up of Fleetwood Mac reunited to perform the song at his 1993 Inaugural Gala, sowing the seeds for a later reunion album and tour. Because of Nicks' inactivity due to chronic fatigue syndrome as well as a debilitating addiction to painkillers, she had gained an alarming amount of weight. Disgusted by her physical appearance, Nicks vowed at the time to never set foot on a stage again.
In late 1993, while Nicks held a baby shower at her house, she tripped and gashed her forehead on a fireplace. Not feeling any pain, Nicks realized she needed help and endured a painful 47-day detox from Klonopin in the hospital. Her weight had ballooned to 175 lb (79.4 kg), enhanced even more by her short stature.
Due to her dependence on Klonopin, Nicks strung together a haphazard solo album in 1993 and 1994, with material written mostly in previous eras, with "Greta", "Love Is Like a River", and "Listen to the Rain" dating from the mid-1980s, "Destiny" from the early 1970s Buckingham Nicks era (it shares some lyrics with the song "Enchanted"), and "Rose Garden", originally written when Nicks was 17. Other material came from various co-writers, including frequent late '80s/early '90s collaborator Mike Campbell and a cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman".
Released May 23, 1994, Street Angel (#45 on the Billboard 200 albums chart) became the most poorly-received record of her solo career. "Maybe Love Will Change Your Mind" from the album made #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and "Blue Denim" was an even less successful hit, although the song did gain more promotion, such as her appearance on Late Night With David Letterman. Nicks was crushed by the focus on her weight and the poor reception of the album despite her successful, three-month tour featuring friends and old band musicians including drummer Russ Kunkel and Fleetwood Mac lead guitarist Rick Vito. Highlights from the tour included "Stand Back"; "Rhiannon"’ and "Talk To Me"; "Edge of Seventeen"; and a rare solo version of the Fleetwood Mac hit, "The Chain".
This live release, The Dance, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 in the autumn of 1997 and earned the group a Grammy nomination. Two promotional singles — both Nicks songs — were released: an emotional, acoustic reading of "Landslide" and the epic "Silver Springs", which had been originally planned for Rumours but was shelved due to its length, as each vinyl side contained only 24 minutes. Instead, the song was relegated to b-side status for "Go Your Own Way", but on The Dance earned Nicks a Rock Vocal Performance nomination. In 1998, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and won the Outstanding Contribution at the BRIT Awards.
Nicks once again had to put plans for a new solo album on the back burner when she was approached by Warner Music to release a solo career-spanning box set, to finish her contract with Atlantic Records in the US. After the culmination of the Fleetwood Mac reunion tour, Nicks settled down in Los Angeles and Phoenix with close friends and colleagues to devise a track list for this three-disc collection.
The box set Enchanted, was released to acclaim on April 28, 1998 with liner notes from Nicks, as well as exclusive and rare photographs. Featuring successful solo hits, Nicks also included b-sides ("Garbo", written in 1973 and recorded for The Wild Heart era), rare soundtrack contributions ("Blue Lamp", "Sleeping Angel", "Battle of the Dragon", "Violet and Blue"), duets ("Whenever I Call You Friend" with Kenny Loggins; "Gold", with John Stewart), and covers ("It's Late", "Free Fallin'", and Warren Zevon's "Reconsider Me"). Nicks also included demos ("Twisted", "Sweet Girl") and "Long Distance Winner" from the Buckingham Nicks album. Live versions of "Edge of Seventeen" and "Gold and Braid" from her 1981 tour were also scattered in the set. Nicks recorded a special solo piano rendition of "Rhiannon". The box set was supported with a successful US tour with a more varied set list incorporating rare material such as "Rose Garden", "Garbo" and "Sleeping Angel". The set sold 56,000 units in its first week (an excellent achievement for a three-disc box set) and was certified Gold.
In 1998, Nicks contributed songs to the Practical Magic soundtrack, recording a new version of "Crystal", with Nicks on lead vocals (Lindsey Buckingham sings lead in the original) and "If You Ever Did Believe", originally a mid-'70s demo which shared the lyrics "And the days go by/Doing nothing about them/How much time will I have to spend?" with another mid-70's demo, "Forest Of The Black Roses". Sheryl Crow produced the two tracks for the soundtrack, and Nicks and Crow released a music video to VH1 to follow for "If You Ever Did Believe". The song became a moderate radio hit. She also took part in a benefit concert for Don Henley's Walden Woods Project. She sang two songs including the classic "At Last", which would later be featured on an AT&T promotional CD.
Accolades continued when People magazine named Nicks one of the 50 Most Beautiful People, and in 1999, she ranked #14 on a list of VH1's Greatest Women of Rock, and #1 Greatest Woman of Rock voted by VH1 viewers. VH1 also featured an episode of their Behind The Music documentary program on Nicks' career and comeback. In viewer polls, it was voted the best episode at the time of its broadcast. Nicks was a featured artist on the acclaimed VH1 Storytellers Concert Program that same year.
Nicks began writing actively for Trouble in Shangri-La in 1994 and 1995 with "Trouble in Shangri-La" and "Love Is", as she came out of her Klonopin dependency. She says it was friend and former musical partner Tom Petty who convinced her to write again.
In 1999, Nicks began recording songs for Trouble in Shangri-La with Sheryl Crow, who produced five tracks. When Crow dropped out of the project due to a scheduling conflict, Nicks approached R&B producer Dallas Austin to work on tracks at his Atlanta recording studio. She had been impressed with his production work on TLC's song "Unpretty". The Dallas Austin sessions have never surfaced. Nicks finally settled with John Shanks to produce the remainder of the album, but producers David Kahne, Rick Nowels, Pierre Marchand, and Jeff Trott also contributed.
The album featured songs that Nicks had originally written and rehearsed in the '70s such as "Candlebright" (known in some fan circles as "Nomad", from 1970), "Sorcerer" (circa Buckingham Nicks), and "Planets of the Universe" (written around 1976).
Nicks' voice on the new recordings was more tuneful and passionate than on Street Angel, her previous solo outing. Nicks had worked with a voice coach since 1997, lending her voice more control and protecting it from lengthy touring schedules.
Released May 1, 2001, Trouble in Shangri-La restored Nicks' solo career to critical and commercial success. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, her best album chart position since The Wild Heart almost two decades earlier, which also hit #5. The singles "Every Day", "Planets of the Universe", and "Sorcerer" (which originally appeared on the 1984 Streets of Fire soundtrack with Marilyn Martin singing lead and Stevie singing backup) helped promote the album, performing well in the Adult Album Alternative radio markets. One of the dance remixes for "Planets of the Universe" reached #1 on the Billboard Dance and Club Play chart. The original Trouble in Shangri-La album version of the song was later nominated for a Grammy Award (Best Female Rock Vocal Performance). The RIAA certified the album Gold in June 2001.
VH1 named Nicks their "Artist of the Month" for May 2001, airing short interviews and Nicks' catalog of videos throughout the month, including a new video for "Every Day". She also made a video for "Sorcerer", which began airing later in the year. The album featured collaborations with Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) on the country duet "Too Far from Texas", Sarah McLachlan on the ballad "Love Is" and Macy Gray on the soft, funky "Bombay Sapphires". Sheryl Crow was also featured playing various instruments as well as on background vocals on many of the tracks. Sheryl Crow lent a hand in production of nearly half of the album. Nicks performed the new track "Fall From Grace" at the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards on FOX in March of 2001, with Sheryl Crow on backing vocals. Crow also presented Nicks with a Songwriters Award at the ceremony.
Nicks promoted the album with various appearances on television including an interview and performances on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, as well as Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and other appearances. In August 2001 she performed the single "Sorcerer" at the 2001 Radio Music Awards, introduced by Bush front-man Gavin Rossdale.
Nicks supported the album with a successful tour, although some shows were canceled or postponed due to Nicks' bout with acute bronchitis. Shows were also canceled due to the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on 9/11/01.
In 2001, while touring for Trouble in Shangri-La, Nicks received the news that the other members of Fleetwood Mac were planning a new studio album. The line-up consisted of the rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, as well as Lindsey Buckingham, but Christine McVie opted out of the project in its early stages, as she had retired from the group's heavy touring schedule (she had to be coaxed into participating in the 1997 reunion tour).
Nicks sent off a demo tape of around 20 previously unreleased songs, some of which had already been considered for previous Fleetwood Mac albums or solo albums. After the end of her solo tour, Nicks convened with the other members of the band for recording during 2002. The album, which Buckingham had planned as a two-disc set, became a half-Buckingham, half-Nicks record, with nine songs each. The decision to reduce the album to a single disc album was not reached without much drama within the band, as can be seen in the "Destiny Rules" documentary of the making of Say You Will, which aired on VH1 and is also available on DVD release. Lindsey Buckingham pressed for a 2-disc set, while Nicks and eventually Mick Fleetwood as well opposed it, due to uncertainty in the music industry. Buckingham's material was notably more experimental and unusual (some coming from his unreleased Gift of Screws album), and Nicks contributed a series of passionate songs, including her reaction to 9/11 terrorist attacks, "Illume", an ode to Sheryl Crow, "Silver Girl", and various songs from earlier eras: "Smile At You" had been written for Tusk and also recorded during the Mirage sessions; "Running Through the Garden" was originally intended for Rock a Little; and "Goodbye Baby" was written around 1976 as a piano ballad, "The Tower".
Nicks was ranked #52 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists in 2002.
The album was released on Reprise Records, although Fleetwood Mac had been shopping around with a new record deal. They had been offered a deal by Interscope Records, run by Nicks' former lover and producer Jimmy Iovine. Eventually the band decided to stick with their longtime label, Reprise Records, due to a "larger advance offer" by Reprise, according to Lindsey Buckingham. According to Forbes Fleetwood Mac was given a "lucrative" 2-album contract for the release of "Say You Will".
The album, Say You Will, was released to mixed reviews in April 2003, but still became a Top 3 hit on the Billboard 200 selling over 300,000 copies in its first week of release. The group supported the album by embarking on a mammoth world tour lasting until September 2004. They later released two DVD releases: the concert film Live in Boston (RIAA certified Platinum) and the documentary Destiny Rules. The tour become one of the highest grossing concert tours of 2003, headlining at such venues as Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, Philips Arena, Allstate Arena, Ford Center, MGM Grand, Rose Garden, Fleet Center, Hershey Park and many more.
Fleetwood Mac won an American Music Award in 2003 for Best Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group, up against Matchbox 20 and 3 Doors Down. Fleetwood Mac accepted the award at a hotel via satellite from Hamburg, Germany where they were on tour supporting "Say You Will".
In an interview with the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph (8/9/07), Nicks noted that she is unwilling to carry on with the band unless Christine McVie returns. However, in March 2008 it was announced that singer Sheryl Crow would be joining Fleetwood Mac, one point being made that she would be a support for Stevie when they began work. Crow declared 2009 as the year when the public would again experience the group but stopped short of confirming whether it would be with new material or by touring.
Also included are the original Fleetwood Mac version of "Silver Springs"; as well as live performances of "Rhiannon" and "Stand Back" (iTunes-only bonus track); and Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll". The CD also includes Deep Dish's dance cover of Nicks' Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams", for which Nicks re-recorded the vocals in 2005.
A DVD component, compiling 13 of Nicks' music videos, accompanies the CD release. It includes optional voice over commentary from Nicks and rare footage from the making of her first solo album Bella Donna in 1981.
Reprise Records initially released two radio only promos, the live version of "Landslide" with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and also her cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll". Both tracks failed to garner much airplay making an impact on the charts. Reprise Records released "Stand Back" (issued with club mixes) on May 29th, 2007. "Stand Back", which peaked at #5 on the pop singles chart in 1983, has reached #2 on the "Billboard Club Chart". Nicks previously reached #1 on this chart, with "Planets Of The Universe" (from Trouble In Shangri-La) in 2001. The Remix single of "Stand Back" debuted on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales Chart on September 15, 2007 at #10 peaking at #4 the following week. It also debuted on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales Chart at #3 peaking at #1.
According to the The Tennessean, in January 2008, Nicks was spotted "in Nashville recording an album with Joe Thomas for a CD that accompanies a DVD of PBS Soundstage".
Nicks played two concerts in February 2008, both in California, and an additional two shows in April 2008 on the east coast (Pennsylvania and Connecticut). She followed up with a brief but hectic 15 date tour in June 2008. No additional tour dates have been announced.
According to an interview for the May issue of Q magazine, when asked if she is working on a new solo album, Nicks replied "Yes, I've been writing continually. Here [she hands me a sheet of paper titled: The Soldier's Angel, inspired by her charity work]. It's one of the many poems that is ready to go to the piano right now. I'm always writing".
Nicks is to release a CD, named "The Soundstage Sessions" and a DVD, named "Live In Chicago". Both are of her October 25, 2007 Soundstage performance, and are being released on January 13, 2009 through Reprise Records. The DVD features special guest Vanessa Carlton for whom Nicks provided backing vocals on her 2007 album Heroes & Thieves.
Reports have also begun to surface about a potential recording of a new Fleetwood Mac album in late 2008, with a release and tour to follow in 2009.
In October 2005, she attended the Melbourne Cup Week in Australia, and one of the horse racing stakes was named after her: The Stevie Nicks Plate. She used this opportunity to launch her promotion of an Australian/New Zealand extension to her Gold Dust Tour in February and March 2006. Nicks toured in Australia and New Zealand with popular Australian performer John Farnham. She also appeared in concert with Tom Petty in June near Manassas, Virginia and at the Bonnaroo Music Festival that same month.
In 2006, Nicks also performed with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the first leg of their tour in the summer, and later in the year returned as a guest performer for a number of songs on the tour celebrating Petty's 30th anniversary since his debut album. Tom Petty's Homecoming Concert in Gainesville, FL, which contained performances with Stevie Nicks, was filmed for PBS Soundstage as well as DVD release for March 2007. Nicks was also the featured performer for Bette Midler's benefit function, Hullaween, in October 2006. On December 8, 2006, Nicks performed at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip near Las Vegas, Nevada as a benefit for the Epicurean Charitable Foundation.
On February 4, 2007 Nicks performed her classic solo hit song "Stand Back" at the 2007 Super Bowl XLI Pre-game Show on CBS. She also made performance appearances on NBC's The Today Show and The Ellen Degeneres Show.
Nicks began touring with pop/rock artist Chris Isaak beginning in May 2007. The last Stevie Nicks/Chris Isaak show was June 17th, 2007 at the Tweeter Center in Boston, MA. Nicks continued the tour solo, with Vanessa Carlton opening on some dates. The tour finished off at The Borgata in Atlantic City on August 24, 2007.
In 2006, Nicks held a get-together to raise money for her charity work. Many of her peers made contributions. Nicks continues to develop this philanthropic endeavor.
The Dixie Chicks cover of Stevie Nicks' Fleetwood Mac classic "Landslide" also earned Stevie Nicks a BMI Songwriters Award in 2003. The award is given to the songwriter of the track, regardless of the performer, and Stevie Nicks' "Landslide" won the prestigious "Song Of The Year" award.
According to BMI: "Landslide" earned songwriter Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac the 35th Robert J. Burton Award as Most Performed Country Song of the Year. This distinction is given to the song tallying the most feature US broadcast performances during the eligibility period. Nicks is also publisher of the song, through her company Welsh Witch Music. Included on the Dixie Chicks' platinum Monument album Home, "Landslide" was a Country, Adult Top 40, Hot 100 and AC Billboard charts smash. Nicks previously collected a Pop Award in 1998 for Fleetwood Mac's recording of the song, which has achieved Million-Air status with over three million airplays. (BMI)
Her only marriage was to Kim Anderson, the widower of her friend Robin Anderson, soon after Robin died of leukemia while Bella Donna was on the top of the charts. Stevie and Kim were soon divorced: "We didn't get married because we were in love, we got married because we were grieving and it was the only way that we could feel like we were doing anything."
On August 10, 2005 her father, Jess Nicks, died. Jess introduced his daughter during several of her concert tours and was a large influence on Nicks. Nicks remarked, after Jess's health had deteriorated, that she asked her father to "hang on" for her to finish her tour and his death came shortly after Nicks wrapped up her summer 2005 Gold Dust Tour. She was able to be with him in his final hours.
Of her lifestyle today, Nicks stated "I am a very different girl from the girl that was so wrapped up in rock and roll and the drugs and everything else. I'll never take it all for granted again, ever. Because I also now really realize how quickly that it can go, and that you can be the darling one year, and be nobody the next year. So you have to learn to accept and deal with that." (VH1 "Behind The Music, 1998)
Up until July 2007 Nicks lived in Paradise Valley, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix in a home she built in 1981 and shared with brother Chris, his wife Lori and their daughter Jessica. She announced in mid-2007 that her Paradise Valley home would be put up for sale, citing her aspirations to "downsize" and focus more on her charity work, and the fact that in the last year she had only "spent about two weeks there." The house was put on the market for a reported $3.8 million and many fans (feeling it was the end of a major era in her life and career) tagged it as a "Kingdom Up For Sale", a line from the song "Gold Dust Woman". She also owns a home in Pacific Palisades, California.
According to a September 2007 article in the Weekly Telegraph (UK), Nicks says she is again selling her home, her recently purchased Pacific Palisades home (purchased two years ago by Nicks, right down the street from a rental home she had for years in Pacific Palisades). She has said it's a "house for adults", "And even though I'm pushing 60 I don't feel that I'm that old yet." She will be moving to a penthouse apartment on the beach and the old house is already on the market.
Many of Nicks' shawls and capes also have an association with her songs in her live performances, many becoming as signature in live performances as the songs themselves. These include a red/crimson shawl for "Sara", white for "Edge of Seventeen", gold for "Gold Dust Woman" and black with round gold circles for "Stand Back". One of her trademarks is twirling across the stage with shawls flying during the interlude of her classic songs, notably "Stand Back" and "Gypsy".
Nicks has said that her vocal style and performance antics evolved from female singers like Grace Slick and Janis Joplin. She admitted inspiration when she saw Joplin perform live (and opened for with her first band "Fritz") shortly before Joplin's death. Nicks owns a strand of Joplin's stage beads. She also commented that she once saw a woman in her audience dressed in dripping chiffon with a Gibson Girl hairstyle and big boots and Nicks knew she wanted something similar. She took the look and made it her own. Another important part of Nicks' image is her jewelry. Nicks typically introduces one signature piece of jewelry during each tour. Such items have included silver bracelets, crescent moon pendant, pyramid shaped pendant, winged-heart pendant, gold crosses and, most recently, a Tiffany pendant with diamonds meaning "longevity." The crescent moon pendant is arguably the most iconic of all Nicks' jewelry – the original was bought while she was in England on tour with Fleetwood Mac during the Tusk era. Nicks then had her personal jeweler, Henri David of Philadelphia, make replicas of the moon pendant which become treasured gifts to her friends. In recent years, celebrity pals such as Bette Midler and ice-skating star Tai Babilonia have been photographed wearing their "Stevie moons".
Nicks has even commented in interviews recently that she never would have dreamed that her trademark "Bella Donna/Witchy Woman" image would have been taken so seriously by her fans, often joking that she doesn't live her private life in her stage clothes and "Stevie garb" as many people seem to think. However, she greatly credits her career/stage image for its role in giving her a trademark that has made her unique and "timeless".
In addition to this, it is also well known that Nicks tends to leave the mic on its stand for the majority of her performances, rarely taking it in hand.
Upon being asked in a question forum on her official website about playing the tambourine, Nicks stated that she began playing the tambourine upon joining Fleetwood Mac in 1975, feeling the need to do something onstage during songs that featured Lindsey or Christine. Like her microphone, her tambourine usually features scarves and/or streamers. Nicks' trademark tambourine since the early 1980s is in the shape of a black half-moon.
"I heard Fleetwood Mac is amazing live." - Lindsay "I heard Stevie Nicks is a witch." - Kim "What do you mean?" - Lindsay "I dunno, she does witch stuff. She casts spells on people. I heard she cast a love spell on Lindsey Buckingham." - Kim