Stevie Nicks mourns Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie: My 'best friend in the whole world'

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A broad range of rockers took to social media to express their sorrow over the death of Christine McVie, co-singer, keyboardist and critical songwriter of Fleetwood Mac.

The 79-year-old “passed away peacefully at (the) hospital following a short illness," according to a statement posted to the singer's Facebook page on Wednesday.

McVie's bandmate Stevie Nicks posted photos of a handwritten tribute in which she called McVie her "best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975," when Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham joined the long-running British rock group.

Founding member Mick Fleetwood wrote that part of his heart "has flown away today, I will miss everything about you Christine McVie."

The members of the Eagles released a statement saying McVie was a "vibrant, soulful spirit, and her music was, and will remain, a gift to the world. We had the utmost admiration and respect for Christine."

RIP: Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac dies at 79 after 'a short illness'

Christine McVie from the band Fleetwood Mac performs at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in New York.
Christine McVie from the band Fleetwood Mac performs at Madison Square Garden on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, in New York.

Other tributes poured in, ranging from Heart's Ann Wilson to country singer Roseanne Cash to hard rocker Sebastian Bach. Some noted their favorite McVie songs, others complimented the ethereal nature of her voice, and most simply noted the passing of a bona fide rock legend.

Nicks revealed in her post that she had not heard about McVie's illness until this past weekend. Although she had wanted to immediately fly to London to be by her friend's side, she was encouraged to wait, she noted. Nicks ended her missive by posting some of the lyrics to the HAIM song "Hallelujah."

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In his tribute to McVie, Fleetwood invoked one of her signature songs, "Songbird," in lamenting the loss of a longtime friend and bandmate.

In her passing, McVie is "reminding one and all that love is all around us to reach for," he wrote.

John Taylor of '80s hit-makers Duran Duran pointed out that McVie somehow managed to radiate "both purity and sass in equal measure, bringing light to music of the '70s. RIP."

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Rocker Sebastian Bach in his post pointed out that McVie's soulful voice seemed to around "more than ever" these days, thanks in part to the endure appeal of Fleetwood Mac's monster hit, "Rumours."

The 1977 album not only spawned a number of hits, many written by McVie, but also chronicled the intense and fractious personal relationships between the band members.

Bret Michaels also chimed in, expressing his sadness at McVie's death and offering condolences to her family, friends and fans.

"What a tremendous loss to the music community," he wrote.

Rosanne Cash in her Instagram message to fans praised McVie as not just a songwriter and singer but also a "beautiful presence."

"A truly sad loss, " Cash added.

Sheryl Crow tweeted that she was "so sad" the singer was on her way "to heaven. The world feels weird without her here."

"What a legend and an icon and an amazing human being," Crow wrote.

The band Garbage wrote they were "gutted" by McVie's passing, while singer Susannah Hoffs of The Bangles fame simply wrote "Peace and love."

Country star Jason Isbell called McVie's songs "irreplaceable," adding that she had a voice that was "truly pure." If you're not sure what he means, check out this 1976 performance of "Over My Head," which McVie transforms into a soulful lament.

McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970 and weathered the numerous dramatic upheavals within the band. She is the first member of the most commercially successful incarnation of the group to die.

As an integral part of Fleetwood Mac's lush sound, her mellifluous vocals painted many of their biggest hits, including “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun,” “Hold Me,” “Everywhere,” “Little Lies” and the song that closed many of the band’s concerts, “Songbird.”

In addition to her decades of success with Fleetwood Mac, McVie fostered a thriving solo career.

Contributing: Melissa Ruggieri

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac dies: Stevie Nicks, more pay tribute