By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Lindsay Buckingham says the death of Christine McVie was “profoundly heart-breaking” as he paid tribute to his late bandmate.
The Fleetwood Mac star joined his estranged bandmates Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks in penning a handwritten message to the late singer, who he described as his “musical comrade”.
McVie died on Wednesday following a short illness at the age of 79.
“Christine McVie’s sudden passing is profoundly heartbreaking,” Buckingham wrote in his own heartfelt message.
“Not only were she and I part of the magical family of Fleetwood Mac, to me Christine was a musical comrade, a friend, a soul mate, a sister.
He continued: “For over four decades, we helped each other create a beautiful body of work and a lasting legacy that continues to resonate today. I feel very lucky to have known her.
“Though she will be deeply missed, her spirit will live on through that body of work and that legacy.”
Christine McVie’s sudden passing is profoundly heartbreaking. Not only were she and I part of the magical family of Fleetwood Mac, to me Christine was a musical comrade, a friend, a soul mate, a sister... (1/2) pic.twitter.com/idyuBMqH1n
— Lindsey Buckingham (@LBuckingham) December 1, 2022
Buckingham was controversially fired from the band in 2018, later taking his former bandmates to court over the dismissal.
In their own tributes on Wednesday, Nicks lamented the loss of her “best friend in the whole world”, while Fleetwood said part of his heart had “flown away” following the news.
The band also released a joint statement describing McVie as “truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure”.
Fleetwood Mac was founded in London in 1967 and have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the most successful groups in history.
Their best-known songs include Dreams, Go Your Own Way and Everywhere.
Despite its tumultuous history, Fleetwood Mac became one of the best-known rock bands of the 1970s and 80s, comprising Fleetwood, Christine and John McVie, as well as Buckingham and Nicks.
Perhaps their best-known album, Rumours – released in 1977, became one of the best-selling of all time and included hits such as Second Hand News, The Chain and the Christine McVie-penned You Make Loving Fun.
In addition to several multi-platinum tracks, the record sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.
Singer-songwriter and keyboardist McVie penned Songbird, one of the band’s most famous tracks, as well as Don’t Stop, You Make Loving Fun, Oh Daddy and Little Lies.
In 1970, McVie released her first solo album, Christine Perfect, after her maiden name. In an interview this year, she told Uncut magazine: “There’s maybe a couple of good songs on it.”
It took McVie another 14 years to release a follow-up solo album – titled Christine McVie – before releasing another album In The Meantime in 2004.
In June this year, the singer-songwriter released another album titled Songbird, a collection of songs drawn from two of her previous solo albums.
She was among the eight members of the band who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
McVie left the band in 1998 after almost three decades but re-joined in 2014 when a one-off appearance at the O2 reignited her love of performing.
Following the news on Wednesday, tributes to the musician were posted by members of the music industry including Haim, Duran Duran and Sheryl Crow, as well as former US president Bill Clinton.
McVie’s death comes two years after Fleetwood Mac co-founder Peter Green died at the age of 73.
A statement from her family said: “It is with a heavy heart we are informing you of Christine’s death. She passed away peacefully at hospital this morning, Wednesday, November 30th 2022, following a short illness.
“She was in the company of her family. We kindly ask that you respect the family’s privacy at this extremely painful time and 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.”