Stevie Nicks is an American rock heroine who is best remembered as Fleetwood Mac’s resident songstress. With her dreamy style and haunting voice, Nicks was the spirit of classic 1970s rock. From her addictions to tragedies and infamous impulses, Nicks also knew how to make the headlines for her questionable life choices. Strike a chord with these 44 harmonic facts about Stevie Nicks.
Stevie Nicks Facts
1. Double or Nothing
To date, Stevie Nicks remains the only woman to have two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions. Her first entry was in 1998, back in her Fleetwood Mac days. The second was just in 2019, as a solo artist.
2. She’s Been Everywhere, Man
Before she was “Stevie Nicks,” she was born as Stephanie Lynn Nicks on May 26, 1948, in Phoenix, Arizona. However, her father’s work as a food business executive meant the family moved around all over the country, living in places such as Lake City, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, El Paso, and even San Francisco.
3. Stage Grand Daddy
Nicks’ paternal grandfather was her first music teacher. Aaron Jess “A.J.” Nicks Sr. was himself a struggling country music artist, and he trained his granddaughter to sing duets when she was only four years old.
4. Fine with Confinement
Even by the standards of the day, Stevie Nicks’ mother was overprotective. According to the artist, her mother confined her at home with fairy tales for comfort.
5. Twiddle Tee-Dee
Stevie’s stage name was conceived in infancy. The baby Nicks could only pronounce her legal name, “Stephanie, as “tee-dee.” This eventually led to her going by “Stevie.”
6. A Few Dollars Make a Difference
The household was traditional for a 1940s family. Her mother was a housewife. Of course, her father was the former president of Greyhound’s Armour-Dial, so maybe Nicks’ childhood wasn’t that typical.
7. My Super Somber Sixteen
Nicks wrote her first song using her Sweet 16 birthday gift: a Goya guitar. This inaugural ditty was titled, “I’ve Loved and I’ve Lost, and I’m Sad but Not Blue.”
8. Just Me & The Tunes
To the surprise of no one, the teenaged Stevie Nicks was a fan of records. Her teenaged pastime involved hiding up in her bedroom, playing records on repeat in her “own little musical world.”
9. Sweet Vocals High
Fleetwood Mac vocalist Lindsey Buckingham was more than Stevie Nicks’ first life and music partner—he was also her high school sweetheart. The two met during Nicks’ senior year in high school, when she saw Buckingham perform “California Dreamin’” at a club. Nicks joined his psychedelic rock band, Fritz.
10. Learning for the Best
11. Where You Leave, They Will Follow
Nicks and Buckingham maintained her high school partnership into college. Both attended San Jose State University, where Nick made plans to study speech communication. Well, she’d be using her vocals in a different way…
12. Drop the Books and Pick Up a Mic
Nicks originally wanted to be an English teacher. However, she dropped out of college just one semester before graduation, nipping those academic plans in the bud. Why? She and her partner Buckingham decided to pursue their music careers.
13. Sadly, No Such Thing as Beginners Luck
Nicks’ first studio album was not a success. She and her partner Buckingham had just left their old band, Fritz, in 1972 and signed a deal with Polydor Records to produce their first duo album, Buckingham Nicks in 1973. However, the album sold as much as that creative title, i.e. not very well. Although they remained popular on the live circuit, the duo was dropped by their label.
14. Working Girl
After the failure of their first album, Nicks supported Buckingham and herself by working odd jobs. He was diagnosed with mononucleosis and spent his time off writing music; Nicks worked odd jobs to keep them afloat, including waiting on tables and cleaning houses.
15. A Clean Bill of Residency
One of the houses Nicks cleaned to stay afloat belonged to music producer Keith Olsen. She and Buckingham even lived in the home. Who says homework doesn’t pay?
16. It’s an Honor Just to Be Nominated …But for How Long!?
To this day, Nicks has been nominated for eight Grammy awards. She was never won.
17. Some Girls Allowed
The year 1974 changed everything for Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Nicks’ music producer landlord, Keith Olsen, played their song “Summer Love” for Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood. That year, Fleetwood asked Buckingham to be the new guitarist for their band. He agreed—but only if his partner Stevie Nicks could join too.
Fleetwood was initially hesitant, but Buckingham insisted that he and Nicks were “a package deal.”
18. Thank Goodness for Recycled Songs
With Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in the mix, Fleetwood Mac achieved worldwide success with their eponymous album in 1975. This album contained the song “Rhiannon,” which Nicks composed herself while still just a duo act. And it was a good thing too: the song was eventually voted as one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
19. A Demonic Touch
Despite his initial resistance to let a girl join their band, drummer Mick Fleetwood agreed that the introduction of Stevie Nicks gave Fleetwood Mac a “theatrical” passion hitherto absent from their act. To quote Fleetwood, “her ‘Rhiannon’ in those days was like an exorcism.”
20. Dressed to De-Stress
In 1975, Nicks developed her distinct on-stage look—with some professional help. Working alongside clothing designer Margi Lent, she established that laidback but striking Stevie Nicks style signature of shawls, flowy skirts, and—of course—platform boots.
21. Dear Diary…
Ever since joining Fleetwood Mac, Nicks has kept journal in which she writes almost every day. She wants to keep her experiences alive for her nieces and “fairy goddaughters.”
22. Long May She Rock
In 1981, Nicks made her solo album debut with Bella Donna. It was a critical and commercial success, peaking at No. 1 of the Billboard 200 chart. That year, Rolling Stone dubbed Stevie Nicks to be “the Reigning Queen of Rock and Roll.”
23. Triple Threat
Bella Donna introduced Nicks to collaborating with women. Her soon-to-be permanent backup singers, Sharon Celani and Lori Perry, have lent their vocals to all of Nick’s solo albums ever since.
24. For the Ladies, Not the Babies
Nicks is childless by choice: “My mission maybe wasn’t to be a mom and a wife; maybe my particular mission was to write songs to make moms and wives feel better.” However, she hardly lives a childfree life. In addition to supporting her stepson’s education, she has an extended family of nieces and other godchildren. To quote Nicks, “I have lots of kids. It’s much more fun to be the crazy auntie than it is to be the mom, anyway.”
25. These Boots Were Made for Walking, Not That
At the height of her drug habit, Stevie Nicks hid a gram of cocaine inside of her boot at all times.
26. Live for the Future
At the end of her 1986 Australian tour, Nicks finally checked herself into a treatment program at the Betty Ford Center. She stayed for 30 days to attend to her cocaine addiction. Why did she finally take the step to get help? According to Nicks, it was the tragic fate of her ill-fated idols—Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin—whose deadly fates inspired her not to follow in their footsteps.
She thought, “I would be very sad if some 25-year-old lady rock and roll singer 10 years from now said, ‘I wish Stevie Nicks would have thought about it a little more.’ That’s kind of what stopped me and made me really look at the world through clear eyes.”
27. Not Leaving Without a Fight
Right before Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 Shake the Cage tour, Nicks and her ex-romantic partner Lindsey Buckingham got into what bassist John McVie called a “physically ugly” altercation. The cause? Nicks became allegedly enraged at Buckingham’s decision to call it quits on his band.
28. One Pill Makes You Taller, or Worse
In 1987, Nicks developed chronic fatigue syndrome. If that weren’t enough, the singer was also becoming addicted to clonazepam. The dual stresses proved too much, resulting in the suspension of her Shake the Cage tour.
29. In the Business of Love
In 1989, Nicks completed her fourth solo album. In the process, she found more than commercial success: Nicks became romantically involved with her record producer, Rupert Hine.
30. The World’s Longest Hangover
Nicks famously testifies to “no memory” of her solo tour in 1989. At the time, she was struggling with her addiction to clonazepam. Ironically, she had been prescribed the drug in the first place to halt her cocaine addiction.
31. Her Burden to Bear
Starting in the early 1990s, Nicks gained a significant amount of weight due to her use of Klonopin. She would call this substance “worse than the cocaine.” Nicks stands at 5’1” tall, but her weight peaked at 175 lbs. Even as she performed at US President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, talk of her looks began to eclipse her accomplishments.
32. Stop Before You Drop
In 1993, Nicks tripped and bashed her head on a fireplace, passing out, while hosting a baby shower at her home. Describing the incident, she has said, “I’m one of those people who doesn’t injure themselves. I was horrified to see that blood. I hadn’t had enough wine. I knew it was the Klonopin.” Immediately afterward, Nicks checked herself into the hospital for a grueling 47-day detox.
33. The Thin Line Between Criticism and Cruelty
Understandably, public criticism towards Nicks’ weight got under her skin. Her post-rehab early 1990s tour was overshadowed—in her mind—by comments about her body. Unable to celebrate being clean, she vowed not to step on stage again the extra baggage was shed.
34. The Sound of Charity
Stevie Nicks is the founder of “Stevie Nicks’ Band of Soldiers,” a non-profit that assists wounded military personnel. In 2004, she purchased hundred of iPod Nanos—preloaded with tons of music—to be autographed by herself and distributed to wounded military service people in Washington D.C. hospitals.
35. Cute & Costly
According to her tax filings from 1991, Steve Nix spent $12,495 in makeup and hairstyling, plus $43,291 for professional costume and maintenance in one year alone. It’s expensive to look effortless.
36. The Paths Not Taken
The Fleetwood Mac song “Sara” is inspired by Nicks’ 1979 abortion. She had become pregnant after an entanglement with Eagles drummer/vocalist Don Henley.
37. It’s Always the Ones You Least Suspect
Nicks’ romance with the Eagle’s Joe Walsh is hardly the most famous of her affairs…but despite it all, Nicks has openly referred to Walsh as the love of her life. Go figure.
38. For Worse, But Not for Better
Nicks and Buckingham survived hard times, but success proved to be their undoing. The pressure of the band’s fame proved too much for the creative duo, and Nicks ended their romantic relationship soon after. To quote Nicks, “We lived together for six years. I cooked for him. I did the laundry. I took care of him. It was as close to being married as I will ever be again.”
39. All It Takes Is One Hit…
To cope with the hardships of her fledgling career in 1970s, Nicks took cocaine for the first time ever. She was told it wasn’t dangerous—just for fun.
40. You Win Some, You Lose a Lot
In 1981, Nicks’ best friend Robin Anderson was diagnosed with leukemia and had only three months to live. Nicks found out on the same day that her solo album, Bella Donna, finally made No. 1 on the Billboard 200. To quote her, “I never got to enjoy Bella Donna at all because my friend was dying. Something went out that day; something left.”
41. Some Things Can’t Be Replaced
Did Stevie Nicks take being a godmother too seriously? In 1982, Nicks mourned her best friend Robin Anderson, who died of cancer shortly after giving birth to a son. Stricken with grief, Nicks was convinced Anderson would want her to take care of the baby…so she married Anderson’s widower, Kim Robinson. The marriage lasted only three months.
Nicks would go on to describe her initial decision as “completely deranged.”
42. What’s a Better Way to Honor Someone Than a Cheque?
To this day, Nick’s only marriage was that ill-fated grief match to her best friend’s widower which only lasted three months. Nevertheless, Nicks still took care of her ex-stepson/godson, remaining in his life and even putting him through college.
43. I Smell Trouble
By the 1980s, Nick’s cocaine addiction became almost deadly. Before the tour, Nicks asked a plastic surgeon, “What do you think about my nose?” He replied, “Well, I think that next time you do a hit of cocaine, you could drop dead.”
44. She Loves Flying with the Eagles
Lindsey Buckingham was not the only Fleetwood Mac member to get personal with Stevie Nicks. After breaking up with Buckingham, Nicks became (briefly) attached to drummer Mick Fleetwood in 1977.