Why They Still Matter: Fleetwood Mac

By Victoria Roxanne Hill
Music Journalist

There were various artists that viewers believe were snubbed of awards on Grammy night, (Kendrick, SZA, Lorde… the list goes on). One group that was objectively deserving that night was Fleetwood Mac. You may have been asking yourself, why are they receiving an award? What have they done to receive this recognition? Well, let me give you a brief history on why these incredible talented musicians deserve the world.

They have created a brand for themselves that countless others have tried to follow. Their career, be it in a musical or social aspect, can be summarized in one word: Rumours. The album remains the fourth best selling album of all time in the UK and fifth in the US. This album was written in the midst of turmoil in all the members lives. Chaos was breaking out amidst their relationships, their physical and mental health. Stevie Nicks, queen that she is, already had a dime-sized hole in her septum from cocaine. John McVie had a cancer scare. There were affairs going on left and right within members of the band, and on the outskirts were thousands of fans watching.

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Fleetwood Mac’s most influential album, Rumours.

Fleetwood Mac’s audience was just as caught up in the drama as they were. In the past, it was such a foreign concept to fans seeing their idols going through difficulties in their lives. With increased usage of social media, we now know when a celebrity cooks an omelet. During Fleetwood Mac’s early years as a band, people became obsessed. The obsession sparked several documentaries and books over several years depicting the struggles and the triumphs that the group had gone through. They saw their fan demographic and did what they could to get them involved. The “Tusk” music video was shot on the Dodgers baseball field featuring the USC marching band. Mick Fleetwood wore a Dodgers shirt promoting them. The band was basically Bill Clinton’s mascot during his presidential campaign season. Their music has been featured in over 100 movies and TV shows. More recently, Stevie Nicks made her guest cameo on American Horror Story in the last few episodes of “Coven.”

Fleetwood Mac’s musical contributions have proved pertinent to the arts. They have been creating music for half a century. If any band were the first to win the MusiCares person of the year, Fleetwood Mac is the rightful recipient. This award benefits artists struggling with substance abuse. Every member of this band has an experience tied to their struggles with substance abuse. In the acceptance speech, Nicks took over with a powerful message and made sure she paid tribute to her dear friend, Tom Petty, whose death “just about broke her heart.” There were also some lighter sweet moments. Mick Fleetwood started dancing on stage with Christine McVie. The love that all of them have for each other was clear.

It is impossible to deny that they have been and will continue to be influential. At times, it might have been an internal train-wreck, but without the pain and their experiences they endured, the music created would not have been the same. There is pain in creating art and Fleetwood Mac’s pain was turned into magic that is only seen once in a lifetime.

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