Stevie Nicks, the iconic voice of Fleetwood Mac, has always been driven by an insatiable need to express herself creatively. Throughout her journey in music, Nicks has painted her emotions and experiences through her songs, making her mark as a force to be reckoned with in the rock world. While many might assume that her decision to embark on a solo career was motivated by a desire for the spotlight, a deeper dive into her interviews reveals a more intricate and compelling narrative.
Nicks’ passion for performing was ignited at an early age.
In a candid conversation with Rolling Stone in 2019, she reminisced about her beginnings:
“I started singing when I was in fourth grade: R&B, all the Shirelles’ songs and the Supremes and the Shangri-Las. All those amazing songs Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote. That was my diving board for singing as a little girl.”
From that moment on, Nicks was hooked, with music becoming an integral part of her life’s journey.
Nicks’s path was paved with determination. Her high school days saw her as part of the band Fritz, an early indication of her unyielding commitment to music. Despite facing setbacks, including a failed debut album with Lindsey Buckingham, Nicks never wavered. It wasn’t until her tenure with Fleetwood Mac was well underway that she unexpectedly began to explore the idea of a solo career.
Against her own expectations, Nicks’ solo journey began with the release of her album “Bella Donna” in 1981. Surprisingly, the motivation behind her solo endeavors wasn’t a desire for individual stardom. It was rooted in her innate creativity and her overflowing treasure trove of songs that had yet to find a home. Her commitment to Fleetwood Mac meant that not all her compositions could be accommodated within the collaborative dynamics of the band.
Her determination to give voice to these songs, rather than seeking personal glory, led her to embark on her solo journey
In her interview with Rolling Stone, Nicks shed light on the conflict between her creative drive and the limitations of being part of a songwriting collective:
“My solo career is much more girlie. It’s still a hard rock band — but it’s much more girlie-girl than Fleetwood Mac is. I never wanted a solo career — I always wanted to be just in a band. But I just had so many songs! Because when you’re in a band with three prolific writers, you get two or three songs per album — maybe four. But I was writing all the time, so they just went into my Gothic trunk of lost songs.”
For Nicks, creativity knows no bounds. Beyond music, she channels her artistic expression into poetry as well. Her fellow band member Christine McVie would often jest about Nicks’ constant songwriting
“Christine would walk by me — my totally sarcastic best friend. She’d say [imitation of Christine McVie’s English accent]. ‘Soooo. Writing another song, are we?’ To this day, I write all the time. I have a poem that I’ve written about Game of Thrones, and I have a really beautiful poem that I’m writing about Anthony Bourdain.”
Her unwavering dedication to artistic creation highlights her need to communicate her thoughts and emotions through various mediums
Stevie Nicks’ decision to pursue a solo career may appear as a departure from the collaborative magic of Fleetwood Mac, but it is a journey that was sparked by necessity rather than ambition. While others might choose the solo route for fame or self-promotion, Nicks embarked on this path driven by her unrestrained passion for creativity and the yearning to share her songs with the world.