McVie died in late November 2022, aged 79. Her cause of death was not disclosed at the time, with a statement from her family stating only that she “passed away peacefully” in hospital “following a short illness”.
On April 3, The Blast reported that McVie’s death was primarily caused by suffering an ischemic stroke. According to the Mayo Clinic, an ischemic stroke “occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients”.
According to McVie’s death certificate, the musician had also been diagnosed with “metastatic malignancy of unknown primary origin”, meaning cancer cells had been detected in her body but it was unable to be determined where they had originated from.
During an interview with Rolling Stone in June last year, McVie said she was in “quite bad health”, adding that she had a “chronic back problem which debilitates me”.
Following news of her death, Fleetwood Mac paid tribute to their bandmate in a joint statement that described McVie as “the best musician anyone could have in their band and the best friend anyone could have in their life”.
“She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure,” the band wrote. “We were so lucky to have a life with her. Individually and together, we cherished Christine deeply and are thankful for the amazing memories we have. She will be so very missed.”
Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood also shared their own individual tributes to McVie. Nicks shared a moving, handwritten letter to her “best friend in the whole world” and referenced Haim‘s 2020 ‘Women in Music Pt. III’ song ‘Hallelujah’.
“Part of my heart has flown away today,” Fleetwood wrote in his own statement. “I will miss everything about you.” Days later, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham described McVie’s passing as “profoundly heartbreaking” in a handwritten note he posted on Instagram. “Christine was a musical comrade, a friend, a soul mate, a sister.”
In February this year, Mick Fleetwood discussed the possibility of Fleetwood Mac performing live again given McVie’s death. “Right now, I truly think the line in the sand has been drawn with the loss of Chris,” he said during an interview on the red carpet at this year’s Grammy Awards. “I’d say we’re done, but then we’ve all said that before. It’s sort of unthinkable right now.”