Stevie Nicks Said Prince and Tom Petty Worried She Would Die Young

In the 1970s and 1980s, the members of Fleetwood Mac used heavy amounts of cocaine while touring and recording music. Though recreational at first, Stevie Nicks said her usage eventually became dangerous. Her friends, fellow musicians Tom Petty and Prince, worried about her. She explained how they expressed their concern, and her sadness at their deaths.

A black and white picture of a young Stevie Nicks wearing a black sweater and white shirt. She sits in front of a microphone.
Stevie Nicks | Ebet Roberts/Redferns

Stevie Nicks says her cocaine usage was ‘dangerous’

Prior to joining Fleetwood Mac, Nicks said that she rarely used drugs or alcohol. Once she and then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham joined, however, this changed. They used cocaine before performances and throughout long studio sessions. Nicks said she reached a point where it was the first thing she thought about in the morning and the last thing she thought about at night. 

“All of us were drug addicts,” she told Rolling Stone. “But there was a point where I was the worst drug addict…I was a girl, I was fragile, and I was doing a lot of coke. And I had that hole in my nose. So it was dangerous.”

Her friends Tom Petty and Prince worried she would die

During this period, Petty and Prince worried for her safety. 

“I did all I could to talk her into getting some help and getting right,” Tom Petty said. “I was very worried about her. To the point that if the phone did ring and they said, ‘Stevie died,’ I wouldn’t have been surprised.”

Nicks says that Prince was also worried about her. They were not as close as Nicks and Petty, but they still maintained a friendship. Nicks wonders if her drug usage is part of why they weren’t closer.

“He hated [drugs],” the International Business Times reports that Nicks told AP. “And he hated that I did drugs and that’s probably why we didn’t hang out more.”

She added that now, she’s deeply sad about Prince’s death.

“He was worried that I would die of an accidental drug overdose and my sadness is that he did die of an accidental drug overdose,” she said. “He’s up there looking down, saying to me, ‘Sweetie, I can’t believe it happened either.’”

Petty died in 2017, the year after Prince’s death.

Stevie Nicks says she still speaks to Prince and Tom Petty 

Despite her heavy sadness over the loss of two friends, Nicks says that she still feels connected to both men.

“I feel that connection is still there, maybe more now than before he died — with Tom and with Prince,” she told Rolling Stone.

She added that when she feels nervous before going onstage, she’ll turn to Prince.

“I feel like Prince is with me. When I’m nervous, I’ll talk to Prince. In my solo act, when I do ‘Moonlight,’ I wear this white wolfy coat — I put this coat on and I try to transform into a Dire Wolf from Game of Thrones. And before I go on, I always say, ‘Walk with me, Prince.’”

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357

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