Facts You Never Knew About Stevie Nicks
The Fleetwood Mac singer had a decades-long friendship with Tom Petty.
When you think of the coolest rock stars of the past 50 years, Stevie Nicks has to make the list. The iconic singer and songwriter, who made her name with Fleetwood Mac before putting together a hugely successful solo career, turned 70 in 2018 but is still connecting with new generations of fans.
Despite maintaining an air of enigma through her stage persona and the mystical lyrics she’s written, Nicks does interviews often and reveals interesting details about her life. You might be a big fan of her music, but there are probably plenty of intriguing details about Stevie Nicks that you never knew.
We’ve rounded up some of the best here.
She Moved Constantly As A Kid
Nicks grew up in financial comfort, thanks to her father’s career as a corporate executive, but she was forced to move around a lot. During her childhood, she spent time living in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas and Utah, because of her dad’s work.
Her Grandfather Was A Country Singer
When Nicks was just 5 years old, her grandfather, A.J. Nicks, wanted to take her on tour with him. Her parents said no, but obviously, they were just delaying the inevitable. A.J. Nicks sang country music and helped get his granddaughter into music, bringing her records when she was a kid and encouraging her to sing harmonies, according to what she told Rolling Stone.
Her Short Marriage Is Her Biggest Regret
Despite having had several high-profile relationships in the 1970s and ’80s, Nicks has only been married once — and it was for just three months. Her best friend, Robin Snyder Anderson, died of leukemia in 1983, just two days after giving birth to a son, Matthew. In a fit of mutual grief, Nicks and Anderson’s widower, Kim Anderson, got married.
“I had this crazy, insane thought that Robin would want me to take care of Matthew,” Nicks told The Guardian in 2011. She called it the biggest regret of her life.
She’s A Dog Lover
In addition to being a rock icon, Nicks has a soft spot for furry friends. She’s had several dogs over the years, including her dearly departed dog Sulamith and her current pup, Lily.
She’s Spent A Lot Of Time Visiting Wounded Veterans
Another one of Nicks’ great passions is spending time with wounded soldiers. She’s been doing it regularly since at least 2006 and was honored by the USO for her work with veterans in 2015. According to the Military Times, she holds the USO record for most hours spent visiting combat-wounded service members over a five-year span.
She Wrote Her First Song At 15
Nicks has always been a prolific songwriter, and she got her start as a teenager. The song was called “I’ve Loved and I’ve Lost” and she penned it about a friend named Steve, who she’s since said she was madly in love with.
“My parents gave me this guitar and I wrote this little song about him,” she told singer Lana Del Rey in a conversation for V magazine.
She Wrote ‘Landslide’ When She Was Pretty Young
Even though the wisdom in “Landslide,” a song that tackles the feelings of growing older, feels pretty mature, Nicks was pretty young when she wrote it. She told Rolling Stone she was just 27 years old when she penned it.
“You can feel really old at 27,” she said.
Songwriting Inspiration Hits Her Constantly
Nicks has said that the inspiration to write a song happens all the time for her. In 2016, she told The Creative Independent that witnessing romantic moments or watching powerful movies really does it for her.
“I can be sitting in a parking lot … and I see a couple walk by and I can see their fingers gently touch … and then I can go home and write a song about them,” she said.
She Had A Serious Drug Habit
Fleetwood Mac is well-known as one of the most hedonistic bands in rock history, and Nicks certainly played her part. The singer and all of her bandmates used cocaine often in the band’s 1970s heyday. Nicks eventually kicked the habit after a stint in rehab but has estimated that she had spent at least $1 million on cocaine in her lifetime.
She Was A Big ‘Gleek’
In 2011, Nicks revealed that her two favorite TV shows were “Glee” and “American Idol.” She especially loved “Glee,” even visiting the set once and forming a bond with the cast. She has said she enjoyed the musical show’s take on Fleetwood Mac’s music. In 2013, she revealed that she wrote the “Glee” cast a letter after hearing of the death of star Cory Monteith.
She’s Making History In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
In 1998, Nicks was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac. In 2019, she’ll be inducted again as a solo artist. This will make Nicks the first woman to ever be inducted into the Hall as a member of a group and for her own solo career.
She Officiated Vanessa Carlton’s Wedding
While Nicks herself was only married once for three brief months, she has taken center stage at a friend’s wedding. When singer Vanessa Carlton got married in 2013, Nicks officiated the wedding and even signed the wedding license afterward. That’s one wedding everyone in attendance will never forget!
Thanks Stevie for marrying us! pic.twitter.com/E2ujXZf6P9
— V a n e s s a C a r l t o n (@VanessaCarlton) December 28, 2013
She’s Always Gotten Along With Christine McVie
While the interpersonal relationships inside Fleetwood Mac have at times been legendarily fraught, Nicks and the band’s other iconic female member, Christine McVie, have always gotten along. McVie told Rolling Stone that it’s because they are very different people who don’t compete with each other.
“She’s a genius,” McVie said of Nicks in 2015. “She’s a lovely, kind, beautiful woman, and I love her to death.”
Other Singers Love Her Voice
She might not be able to sing opera, but Nicks’ signature husky voice makes other vocalists jealous. Courtney Love told Rolling Stone that her voice “gives me something to aspire to.” Debbie Harry of Blondie told the magazine that she finds Nicks’ voice “very sexy.” While Sheryl Crow described her singing style as “a combination of sheer vulnerability and power.”
You Won’t Catch Her Drinking Chai
Despite it being a popular and tasty drink, you won’t spot Nicks sipping a chai latte. Why?
“They’re too fattening,” the singer told Us Weekly in 2011. She also told the magazine she never sits in the sun.
She Played A Witch On TV
It’s long been rumored that Nicks has supernatural powers, and when she made her acting debut in 2014 as part of FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven,” she only fueled the speculation. In the show, Nicks played a fictional (?) version of herself who happens to be a sorceress. Nicks appeared in two episodes that season and again in 2018’s “American Horror Story: Apocalypse.”
She Has A Signature Dip Recipe
In 1988, a book called “Rock ‘n’ Roll Cuisine” collected actual recipes from various rock stars and several members of Fleetwood Mac contributed dishes, including Nicks. Her contribution was for Fleetwood Mac Fiesta Dip. The dish includes refried beans, taco seasoning, sour cream and other ingredients. It sounds pretty delicious — but what else would you expect?
She Dated Several Music Icons
Nicks has had many famous boyfriends over the years, including her bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood. She also dated Jimmy Iovine, Don Henley, Dave Stewart and Joe Walsh at various times. Of all of them, Nicks has been quoted as saying Walsh was the one she would’ve married.
“He was the great, great love of my life,” she said in a 2017 book.
She Had A Great Friendship With Tom Petty
Nicks and Tom Petty were never romantically linked, but they worked together several times and had a long friendship. In the 1980s, she recorded a series of duets with Petty, including 1981’s “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which was a massive hit. Petty once told Nicks she was considered the only woman ever to be part of his band, The Heartbreakers. When Petty died in 2017, Nicks took it hard and later said in a speech, “My heart will never get over this.”
She Was Uncomfortable Recording One Fleetwood Mac Album
In 1987, Nicks had a bad experience while recording the Fleetwood Mac’s album “Tango in the Night.” She had just kicked cocaine so wasn’t feeling great, physically, but the location of the album’s recording made her “very uncomfortable,” as she would later admit. The album was being recorded at the home of Lindsey Buckingham, her ex-boyfriend, and vocals had to be recorded in his bedroom.
“I wasn’t into it,” she said of the setup.
She Looks Up To Someone Famous
It’s hard to imagine Stevie Nicks looking up to anyone, but she has a hero who’s very famous — and a good bit younger than she is. According to Time, in 2017, Nicks revealed that her hero was former first lady Michelle Obama.
“She has such an optimistic outlook,” Nicks said of the Obama. “I think she’s wisdom personified.”
She Listens To Her Own Songs While Working Out
In 2011, Nicks revealed to Pride Source that she’d recently lost some weight — and she gave the credit to her own music. She told the website she’d been running on a treadmill listening to “Secret Love” and “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)” for two solid months. Both songs appear on her acclaimed 2011 album “In Your Dreams.” She said they helped her get down to her lowest weight since 1989.
She’s Self-Conscious About Her Looks
It might sound ridiculous that someone as iconic and cool as Stevie Nicks gets self-conscious about her appearance, but she’s only human. In 2011, the singer said she didn’t want to appear on TV’s “Glee” — despite being a fan of the series — because she was worried she’d look too old. She reportedly said the lighting would have to be perfect and she’d have to appear 40, despite being 62 at the time.
She Regrets Trying Botox
Nicks is very honest about pretty much everything, including her beauty practices. She told Rolling Stone that she tried botox once and it didn’t go well.
“It was so awful for, like, four months,” she said of the experience. “You don’t look like yourself.” She’s been doing her eye makeup in the same style since she was a teen in the 1960s.
She’s Pretty New To Instagram
While Instagram has been around since 2010, Nicks didn’t join the platform until 2018. She posted her first image to the social media site on Aug. 27, 2018, with an image teasing her return to “American Horror Story.” As of January 2019, she’d only posted 11 times but had 175,000 followers.
She Says Performing Helped Her Through Menopause
In 2011, when she was 62, Nicks told The Guardian that going through menopause was difficult for her.
“Rock and the menopause do not mix,” she said. But the singer added that performing helps relieve the pain from cramps. “So you feel great for those two hours,” she said. “And when I come offstage, then I can burst into tears.”
She’s Musically Linked With Beyonce
It’s unfortunate that Stevie Nicks has never directly collaborated with Beyonce, but the two powerhouses are forever linked thanks to a pair of related hit songs. The signature guitar part from Nicks’ 1981 hit single “Edge of Seventeen” was used as the sample for the 2001 hit “Bootylicious” by Beyonce’s group Destiny’s Child. Nicks ended up making a cameo in the song’s music video — and made a ton of money in royalties from the latter song’s success.
She Doesn’t Want To Do Another Fleetwood Mac Album
Nicks is still a member of the iconic band and has said she enjoys touring with them but doesn’t think another record is in the cards. In 2017, she told Rolling Stone that it would be too expensive and probably wouldn’t sell because of changes in how music is consumed these days.
“What we do is go on the road, do a ton of shows and make lots of money,” she said. “We have a lot of fun. Making a record isn’t all that fun.”
She Says One Thing Is ‘Crucial’ In Her Bedroom
When you picture Stevie Nicks’ bedroom, you probably imagine mystical books, tapestries and beads with incense burning 24/7. But she has said the most important thing in the bedroom are the sheets. “I think fabulous sheets are crucial,” she told Us Weekly.
She Was Almost Banned From Australia
Of all the reasons Nicks could have been banned from a country over the years, singing likely wouldn’t be one you’d imagine. In 1986, she flew to Australia simply to ride along with pals Tom Petty and Bob Dylan as they toured there. But during one tour stop, the rockers invited Nicks onstage with them during a song and, of course, she obliged. The impromptu performance violated the terms of her tourist visa, and Australian authorities told her she’d never be allowed back into the country if she did it again.
She Says She’ll Never Retire
If you’re expecting to read about Stevie Nicks retiring, don’t hold your breath. Despite turning 70 in 2018, she says she’ll never quit entertaining. She told Rolling Stone that she believes, “When you retire, you just get small.” She wants to continue doing music and working in television.
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