Forget for a moment the obligatory roll call of hits—we'll get to that in due time. Focus instead on the fact that few artists have established an image as durable as Stevie Nicks has. True, she can come off as a bit precious—spinning like a dervish, draped in lace and chiffon, posing as some sort of mythical chanteuse dispensing woebegone tales. To her legion of fans, though, she's the ultimate rock and roll earth mother, a benign sorceress, whose plaintive vocals reflect a life of emotional hardship. Nicks joined her first band, the Changing Times, while in her midteens. In her senior year of high school, she met the man who'd become both her erstwhile musical partner and the love of her life, Lindsey Buckingham. The two formed a group called Fritz and toured extensively in the late '60s, before scaling back to a duo and releasing the eponymous Buckingham Nicks album in 1973.
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After that, the story becomes familiar. The two join Fleetwood Mac a year later. They provide the hits ("Dreams," "Rhiannon," et al.). The band scores big with Fleetwood Mac and Rumours. The group's internal dynamic becomes fraught with romantic turmoil, and Nicks eventually goes her own way, racking up a string of solo chart-toppers ("Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" with Tom Petty, "Leather and Lace" with Don Henley, "Edge of Seventeen"). A struggle with drug dependency and disappointing reunions with Fleetwood Mac dull her luster, but her star power still lingers, as does the appeal of her songs, which still sparkle in concert.