RIP: Christine McVie wrote many of Fleetwood Mac’s greatest songs.

To casual Fleetwood Mac listeners, the band is Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and everybody else.

But the contributions of Christine McVie (not to mention co-founder Mick Fleetwood and mainstay John McVie) are so acutely integrated into the band’s sound that it’s impossible to envision a Christine-free Mac.

Christine McVie died Wednesday at age 79. 

Her silky vocals – so perfectly complemented by Nicks’ intense warble – and keyboards added a soft touch to a band initially submerged in blues rock and helped remodel Fleetwood Mac into a powerhouse pop-rock outfit in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

© Mark Allan, Invision/AP

When McVie, who often eschewed the spotlight, did step into it, she offered precise melodies and straightforward lyrics.

Here are five of her best contributions to the Fleetwood Mac canon.

‘Everywhere’ (1987)

‘Hold Me’ (1982)

‘You Make Loving Fun’ (1977)

‘Don’t Stop’ (1977)

‘Songbird’ (1977)

Considered McVie’s signature for good reason, the piano ballad is striking and sparse in its beauty. Her voice pure and faultless as she sings what is part heartbreaking farewell (“I wish you all the love in the world”) and romantic paean (“And the songbirds are singing, like they know the score”). Fleetwood Mac typically stationed McVie in the spotlight at the end of their concerts to leave the audience with this unpretentious creation of musical magic.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY©

Author: Dennis Hickey

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