Stevie Nicks Said That Her Father ‘Squashed’ Her Mother: ‘There Was Only Room For One Star’

Since she rose to prominence in the mid-1970s, Stevie Nicks has maintained bold independence, vowing never to rely on any man for success. On multiple occasions, Nicks has attributed this quality to her mother. This is because her mother wanted Nicks to live a freer life than she had. Nicks shared how her parents’ dynamic taught her to be independent. 

A black and white photo of Stevie Nicks posing cheek to cheek with her mother Barbara Nicks.
Stevie Nicks and Barbara Nicks | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Stevie Nicks’ parents were college sweethearts

In 1947, Nicks’ college sweetheart parents, Jess and Barbara, got married. A year later, the young couple welcomed Nicks, and the family settled in Phoenix, Arizona. They were not there for long, however. Due to the nature of Jess’ corporate job, the family bounced around Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and California. Jess was rising in the ranks at Greyhound and Armour and needed to move to advance his career.

“Well, we moved — a lot,” Nicks said, per the book Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis. “So I was always the new girl. I knew I wasn’t going to have much time to make friends, so I made friends quickly and I adjusted really well, and when I’d say, ‘I’m gonna miss my room,’ my mom would always say, ‘There’s always a better house.’”

She said her father outshone her mother

While Nicks’ father advanced in his career, her mother raised the children at home. Jess reportedly believed it would look better if Barbara did not have a career.

“My mom was a financial wizard, but when she married my dad he just squashed her,” Nicks told The New Yorker. “It was like there was only room for one star in this family.”

Because of this, Barbara wanted her young daughter to know the value of independence. She didn’t want Nicks to rely on any man for success.

“She said, “You are going to be an independent woman if it kills me. Wherever you go, whatever you do, whether you’re a rock-and-roll star, or whether you’re the president of a company, or a lawyer, or whatever it is you decide to do, you are going to stand in the middle of a room full of men and you are going to be way ahead of them. They are never going to look down on you as a woman,’” Nicks explained. “So my mom was a serious feminist. She implanted that in me.”

Nicks took the advice to heart and vowed never to be disrespected by the men in her field.

Stevie Nicks’ feels close to her mother after her death

In the years since Barbara’s death, Nicks says she still feels close to her mother. She can sense her mother’s presence, particularly when she’s misplaced something. Barbara will help her find it.

“It’s so real and creepy, and I always just go ‘Thank you, Barbara,’” she told the LA Times. “I sometimes feel I have more of a relationship with my mom since she’s been dead than I did before she died.”

Because of this lasting relationship, Nicks says that she does not fear death.

“Some people are really afraid of dying, but I’m not,” she told The Guardian. “I’ve always believed in spiritual forces. I absolutely know that my mom is around all the time.”

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