"Stevie" Nicks is best known for her work with Fleetwood Mac and an extensive solo career, which collectively have produced over forty Top 50 hits and sold over 140 million albums.
After the release of her first solo album, Rolling Stone deemed her "The Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll."
Having overcome cocaine addiction, and dependency on tranquilizers, Nicks remains a popular solo performer. As a solo artist, she has garnered eight Grammy Award nominations. With Fleetwood Mac, she has an additional five nominations including their win for Rumours in 1977/1978 as Album of the Year.
As a member of Fleetwood Mac, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Her seventh solo studio album entitled In Your Dreams, and her first in ten years, has completed production with Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame at the helm, and was released on May 3, 2011.
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Nicks was born Stephanie Lynn "Stevie" Nicks in Phoenix, Arizona. Her grandfather, Aaron Jess Nicks, a struggling country music singer, taught Nicks to sing, performing duets with her by the time she was four years old.
As a young child, Nicks had difficulty pronouncing her given name Stephanie, instead pronouncing it "tee-dee," which became the nickname "Stevie."
Her father's career necessitated frequent moves, and the family lived in Phoenix, Albuquerque, El Paso, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco during Nicks' youth.
With the Goya guitar that 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" 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 attended a Young Life Christian social event, saw Buckingham playing "California Dreamin'," and joined in with the harmony.
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, opening 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. They dropped out in 1968 and moved to Los Angeles together to pursue a career in music when Nicks' family moved to Chicago.
After Fritz disbanded in 1972, Nicks and Buckingham continued to write and record as a duo, producing demo tapes at the coffee plant belonging to Buckingham's father Morris. They secured a deal with Polydor Records. Polydor used tracks from the demo tapes to release the album Buckingham Nicks in 1973. The album was not a commercial success, and Polydor dropped the pair from the label.
To support herself and Buckingham, who wrote music while recovering from mononucleosis, Nicks worked a variety of jobs, including waiting tables and cleaning houses.
Nicks and Buckingham briefly relocated to Aspen, Colorado. While there, Buckingham landed a guitar-playing gig with the Everly Brothers, and toured with them while Nicks stayed behind. During this time, Nicks wrote "Rhiannon" after seeing the name in the novel Triad by Mary Leader, unaware at the time of the Mabinogi legend of Rhiannon. She also wrote "Landslide," inspired by the scenery of Aspen and her inner turmoil over her decision to pursue music.
Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac on December 31, 1974, after Keith Olsen played their track "Frozen Love" for drummer Mick Fleetwood, who had come to Studio City in California, in search of a studio to record Fleetwood Mac's next album. Initially extending the offer only to Buckingham, Fleetwood later included Nicks in the offer when Buckingham insisted that they were "a package deal."
In 1975, the band achieved success with the album Fleetwood Mac. That same year, Nicks worked with clothing designer Margi Kent to develop Nicks' unique onstage look, with costumes that featured flowing skirts, shawls and platform boots.
Following the success of Fleetwood Mac, increasing tension between Nicks and Buckingham began to take its toll on their creativity, and Nicks ended the relationship.
Fleetwood Mac began recording their follow-up album, Rumours, in early 1976 and continued until late in the year. Also, Nicks and Buckingham sang back-up on Warren Zevon's debut album.
Rumours, produced four U.S. Top 10 singles (including Nicks' song "Dreams," which was the band's first and only U.S. number one) and remained at #1 on the American albums chart for 31 weeks, as well as reaching the top spot in various countries around the world. To date the album has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it the ninth highest selling album of all time.
Nicks began her solo career in 1981 with the 8 million selling album Bella Donna. She has produced six more solo studio albums to date.