Stevie Nicks Nearly Quit Fleetwood Mac Because of Self-Doubt: ‘If I’m Not Wanted, I’ll Get Out’

Though she wasn’t an original member and joined in the ’70s, Stevie Nicks is one of Fleetwood Mac’s most well-known members. Through her music, Nicks has picked up a hoard of fans, including many celebrities. This almost didn’t happen, though. In the ’70s, Nicks says she nearly quit the band because of insecurity. Due to some media coverage, she doubted her abilities.

A  black and white photo from the '70s of Stevie Nicks. She had not yet joined Fleetwood Mac.
Stevie Nicks in 1974 | Richard McCaffrey/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In the ’70s, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham struggled before joining Fleetwood Mac

After meeting as high school students in California, Nicks joined Lindsey Buckingham’s band, Fritz, as a lead singer. The band broke up in the early ’70s and, soon after, Nicks and Buckingham started a relationship. After moving to Los Angeles and struggling to make their music career work, they struck gold when they joined Fleetwood Mac.

The British band initially only wanted Buckingham for his guitar skills. Ultimately, though, the couple was a package deal. They joined as a pair, and the group achieved swift success.

She said that she doubted her abilities 

The band was commercially and critically successful, but for a period in the ’70s, Nicks doubted her worth. After they began releasing music, several reviews targeted her in particular.

“They said my singing was ‘callow’ and that really hurt my feelings,” Nicks told Rolling Stone. “Time after time I would read: ‘. . . the raucous voice of Stevie Nicks and the golden-throated voice of Christine McVie, who’s the only saving grace of the band.’”

She added that criticism like this made her doubt that she belonged in the band at all. She said that she nearly quit in the band’s early years.

“When it comes to competition, I won’t compete for a man and I won’t compete for a place on that stage either,” she explained. “If I’m not wanted, I’ll get out. I was bummed.”

Eventually, though, Nicks began to settle into the band. A song featuring her harmonies did well. Then, “Rhiannon,” which she wrote and performed, found mainstream success. Nicks became an integral part of the band.

Stevie Nicks says she’s fearless now

Though Nicks had a period of self-doubt in the ’70s, she says that she tries to live without fear now. She said that this is a choice she made to avoid getting overwhelmed by fear.

“I am pretty fearless, and you know why? Because I don’t handle fear very well; I’m not a good terrified person,” The Cut reported that Nicks said to Interview Magazine. “I learned that a long time ago. You know when you walk into your house and there’s nobody there and all the lights are out, it’s like I just fearlessly go into the dark, because I know if I start creepin’ out that it’ll get me.”

Though she still has periods of worry — she said she was terrified before her appearance on American Horror Story — Nicks is able to work through the feeling. By telling herself that she’s fearless, it becomes true.

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