It’s hard to believe from her energetic performances, but Stevie Nicks turned 70 years old on May 26. The “Stand Back” songstress is about to embark on her last tour ever with her band, Fleetwood Mac. To celebrate the fiery White Winged Dove, we did a deep dive into her history for these seven fun facts.
7. Her Grandfather was a Frustrated Country Singer
Stevie’s grandfather, Aaron Jess Nicks, was a struggling country western singer who never made it big. He played violin and guitar. Aaron made his granddaughter a guitar and taught her to play the piano. By age five, she was performing alongside him in local Arizona gin mills and taverns.
6. She Met Lindsey Buckingham in a Christian Youth Group
Stevie met Lindsey when she was a senior and he was a junior in high school in San Francisco. He started to play “California Dreamin” by the Mamas and the Papas, and she spontaneously joined in to sing with him. The rest is history.
5. Buckingham and Nicks were in Another Band
Although most people know that Stevie and Lindsey were a duo billed as “Buckingham Nicks” when they joined Fleetwood Mac, that was not their first band. In 1971 they were in a band called Fritz. The band was actually fairly well known, earning a shot to open for Buffalo Springfield, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Stevie impressed Hendrix: during one performance, he pointed out Nicks on the side of the stage and dedicated a song to her.
4. Stevie Used to Clean Houses
When Stevie and Lindsey struck out on their own, times were tough. Stevie got a day job cleaning houses for $50. She said in 2017 that Lindsey would stay home smoking weed with friends like Warren Zevon while she supported them. By the time they were asked to join Fleetwood Mac in 1975, the duo was just about broke. At the first rehearsal, the band gave them each $200 so they could afford to eat.
3. She Founded a Non-Profit for Injured Soldiers
Stevie has been a longtime supporter of the U.S. military. After making several visits to Veterans Administration hospitals in 2005, where she spent hours with men and women injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, Stevie gave them all iPods filled with music. She designed the music to be responsive to their stories. An experience at Walter Reed inspired her to write the song “Soldier’s Angel” – she then started the Stevie Nicks Soldier’s Angel Foundation, a charity that helps injured U.S. military personnel.
2. Her Real Name is Stephanie
Stevie is a nickname. Her real name is Stephanie Lynn Nicks. Her nickname came about when she was a little girl and couldn’t pronounce her name correctly. She would pronounce it as “Tee-Dee,” so everyone started calling her Stevie.
1. She Wrote a Song with Edgar Allan Poe
On Nicks’ 2011 album In Your Dreams, Stevie finally recorded a song that she’s been playing live for decades. It’s a six-minute song called, well “Annabel Lee.” The song has been a fan favorite that appeared on treasured bootlegs for years. She incorporates many of Poe’s lines, like “The moon never beams without bringing me dreams,” which seems incredibly perfect for Stevie’s style.