Famed for her mystical chanteuse image, singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks enjoyed phenomenal success not only as a solo artist but also as a key member of Fleetwood Mac. Possessed of a raspy croon, Nicks had a duo with Lindsey Buckingham in the early '70s, releasing an excellent folk-pop album as Buckingham Nicks before the pair were absorbed into veteran U.K. group Fleetwood Mac. Nicks' and Buckingham's talents helped steer the band to superstardom with the enormous hit albums Fleetwood Mac and Rumours. In the '80s, Nicks ventured out on her own, scoring numerous hit singles and ultimately leaving the band. In the late '90s, however, she reunited with her Fleetwood friends, who began performing and recording with renewed vigor.
Stephanie Lynn Nicks was born May 26, 1948, in Phoenix, Arizona; the granddaughter of a frustrated country singer, she began performing at the age of four, and occasionally sang at the tavern owned by her parents. Nicks started writing songs in her midteens, and joined her first group, the Changing Times, while attending high school in California.
During her senior year, Nicks met fellow student Lindsey Buckingham, with whom she formed the band Fritz along with friends Javier Pacheco and Calvin Roper. Between 1968 and 1971, the group became a popular attraction on the West Coast music scene, opening for Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Ultimately, tensions arose over the amount of attention paid by fans to Nicks' pouty allure, and after three years Fritz disbanded; Buckingham remained her partner, however, and they soon became a romantic couple.
After moving to Los Angeles, the duo recorded its 1973 debut LP, Buckingham Nicks. Despite a cover that featured the couple nude, the album flopped, but it caught the attention of the members of Fleetwood Mac, who invited Buckingham and Nicks to join their ranks in 1974. In quick time, the revitalized group achieved unparalleled success: after the LP Fleetwood Mac topped the charts in 1975, the band recorded 1977's Rumours, which sold over 17 million copies and stood for several years as the best-selling album of all time.
Major hit singles like "Dreams" and "Rhiannon" made Nicks a focal point of Fleetwood Mac, and in 1981 she took time off from the group to record her solo debut, Bella Donna, which hit number one on the strength of the Top 20 hits "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (a duet with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), "Leather and Lace" (a duet with Don Henley), and "Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White Winged Dove)." After a return to Fleetwood Mac for the 1982 album Mirage (which featured her hit "Gypsy"), Nicks released her second solo effort, The Wild Heart, highlighted by the Top Five smash "Stand Back." Rock a Little, which featured the single "Talk to Me," followed in 1985.