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Singer and songwriter Stevie Nicks is known for her work with Fleetwood Mac as well as for her solo career.
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Singer, songwriter. Born Stephanie Lynn Nicks on May 26th, 1948, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. Her adopted moniker, Stevie, reportedly came from her childhood pronunciation of "Stephanie" as "tee-dee." Stephanie's mother, Barbara, was a homemaker and father Jess Nicks, a corporate executive, first met at Arizona State University. They became college sweethearts, and the couple married in 1947.
The tight-knit Nicks clan included Stevie's paternal grandfather, Aaron Nicks, a would-be country star. Grandfather Nicks handcrafted a guitar for young Stevie and taught her well-known selections from the country music cannon. By the time she was five years old, Stevie was gigging with him at local gin mills. Around this time her brother, Christopher, was born.
As Stevie's father rose through the corporate ranks, the Nicks family skipped around Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and California. By 1963, the family landed in the suburbs of Los Angeles, and Stevie enrolled at Arcadia High School. While there, she met her best friend, Robin, and joined Changing Times, a band patterned after The Mamas and The Papas. Her tenure with the group was short-lived; the Nicks family soon moved to Palo Alto, California, where Stevie attended Menlo Atherton High School. Here, Stevie met classmate Lindsey Buckingham, a guitarist and fellow songwriter. The two shared a close bond and forged a strong musical partnership.
After high school, Stevie briefly enrolled in San Jose State College, but by 1968 she'd dropped out. The Nicks family relocated once again—this time, to Chicago—but Stevie opted to stay in California. Along with Buckingham, she joined the local band, Fritz, which established a small following. The group opened for bigger acts such as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix before they disbanded in 1971.
By this time, Nicks and Buckingham were deeply romantically involved. The couple continued collaborate, and soon landed a contract with Polydor Records. In 1972, they released Buckingham-Nicks, an album that went largely unnoticed. In an effort to make ends meet, Stevie worked alternately as a maid, a dental assistant, and a waitress.
Concurrently, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie of the rock group Fleetwood Mac struggled with band tensions and line-up changes. In 1974, the group started seeking out a new recording facility, and arranged a visit to Sound City Studio in the San Fernando Valley—the same studio where Stevie and Buckingham recorded their album. As producer Keith Alson guided Fleetwood Mac through the facility, he showcased the studio's sound capabilities by playing the Buckingham-Nicks track "Frozen Love." The band was taken with Buckingham's guitar sensibilities.
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