Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter, passed away aged 79

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

The British singer-songwriter of Fleetwood Mac, Christine McVie, passed away peacefully at a hospital in the company of her family.

The family's statement said “we would like everyone to keep Christine in their hearts and remember the life of an incredible human being, and revered musician who was loved universally”.

Fleetwood Mac, in a separate statement, said that there were “no words” to describe the band's sadness at McVie's passing. Members of Fleetwood Mac including Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood posted the statement on social media.

“She was the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life,” the band's statement said. “Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have.”

Christine Perfect married Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie, and joined the band in the 1970s. During the 1970s and 1980s, Fleetwood Mac became one of the most popular rock bands in the world.

With more than 40 million copies sold worldwide, “Rumours” is one of the biggest-selling albums in history, inspired by the split of the McVies and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

As a member of the band, McVie was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. She retired to Kent after the success of their live album The Dance, citing a fear of flying as the reason for her departure. In 2013, she rediscovered her love of performing at a one-off performance with the group at London's O2 arena, and returned a year later.

In 2017 she told BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs programme that she had developed agoraphobia after leaving the band.