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Stevie Nicks: Why I had to marry my best friend’s husband

When her best friend Robin died leaving a baby son, Fleetwood Mac‘s Stevie Nicks ignored the advice of family and friends and married Robin’s grieving partner. But it only led to further heartbreak.

She seems to have everything a woman could want ‘ fame, beauty, wealth and a staggeringly successful career. Stevie Nicks is both a highly successful solo artist and member of the supergroup Fleetwood Mac, who breeze into Britain next week to play to stadium crowds in London and Manchester.

Yet the title of the band’s latest chart-topping album, Behind The Mask, is oddly appropriate to 42-year-old Stevie. For her public success hides the private heartbreak of a woman who has coped with cocaine addiction, a string of broken relationships and even a disastrous marriage to her best friend’s husband.

And it wasn’t fame and fortune that soured the “American Dream.” She and handsome musician boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham became one of rock’s most celebrated couples in the 70s. Yet the cracks in their relationship were evident long before super-stardom came their way.

Lindsey left Fleetwood Mac three years ago and Stevie now says, “He and I were about as compatible as a boa constrictor and a rat. But we’ve had our final words. We will never be able to work together again, we’ll never even speak again, which is very sad. In any relationship you come down to a point where you say things that you can never take back, and we’ve said them. It breaks my heart.”

Despite their love for each other, she and Lindsey were in daily conflict too long before being chosen from hundreds of hopefuls to join the band. “Rich and famous or starving and poor, we went through the same problems,” she sighs. “He always wanted me to himself, but someone had to go out and earn some money. All he wanted to do was play his music.

“When I came home I’d always get a slight cold shoulder. He wouldn’t quite trust me about where I’d been or what I’d been doing. When we broke up, two years after joining Fleetwood Mac, it was like living a nightmare.”

For Lindsey, excelling at his music was a continual struggle. But it came easy for Stevie. And as her vocals and songwriting began to play an ever-increasing part in the band’s success, a wedge was driven between them.

“He felt I should have to work much harder at it,” she says, “I tried asking, ‘Lindsey, how can I change?’ But everything about me seemed to bug him. My laughter, the way I could deal with a lot of difficult things, all made him cringe. So I changed when I was around him. I became mouse-like and would never dare offer a suggestion.”

Their break-up came as fellow band members Christine and John McVie were also splitting up, but they all remained committed to holding Fleetwood Mac together. The pressure to maintain the band’s phenomenal level of success while working through their personal problems weighed heavy on everyone, but for Stevie there was the added pressure involved in taking the first tentative steps of her own parallel solo career. Also, unbeknown to her, the most heart-breaking and bizarre chapter of her life was about to begin.

It started when she was told that her childhood girlfriend Robin was dying of leukaemia. Unusually for someone with the disease, Robin had still managed to become pregnant by her husband Kim and, knowing how slight her chances of conceiving had been, she refused all medical treatment during her confinement. Instead, she reconciled herself to the fact that she would have to sacrifice any hope of life in order to give birth.

Having spent many painful hours at Robin’s bedside, this resolve led Stevie to make one of the biggest mistakes of her life.

Three days after giving birth to son Matthew, a tiny, premature baby weighing just one pound, Robin died. Distraught, Stevie made a vow to honour the memory of her best friend by marrying Kim and bringing up their son as her son.

“I went crazy, absolutely crazy when Robin died. The only thing I could think of to do was try to take the load off Kim by marrying him and helping raise their son.

“I think in her heart Robin knew I would go after Kim,” Stevie continues. “I had known her for 20 years and him for five, and I felt this baby belonged to me almost as much as it did to them.”

Friends and family found themselves unable to share Stevie and Kim’s logic… “A lot of people refused to come to my wedding. They thought I’d lost my mind, which I obviously had at the time.”

In the early days of the marriage, their shared emotions and the demands of providing round-the-clock care for Matthew united the couple. But as time went on, Stevie became more and more convinced of the mistake she’d made. At times she even doubted that Kim could distinguish between herself and Robin.

“Having been friends from the ages of 14 to 35 we talked the same and had similar mannerisms. So much so that, in a dim light, it was hard to tell us apart.”

The relationship quickly deteriorated. Kim began to keep Stevie away from Matthew, and Stevie realised she’d married someone she didn’t even know.

Uncertain of what to do next she walked into the nursery one day to check on Matthew. “I had got used to going in and finding the cradle rocking without anyone being there and I always knew that it was Robin,” she says. “But on this occasion, it wasn’t rocking, nor the next day either, and that was when I realised she had finally left.

“Somehow, I knew she was telling me, ‘You’d better get out of this right now. Kim will take good care of Matthew, but this is not what God meant for you, Stevie.”

Stevie hasn’t seen either Kim or Matthew since their divorce but prays for the opportunity to see Matthew once more when he is a bit older. “I hope he’ll come to me and I’ll be able to hand him things that were his mother’s and say, ‘This was her,’ look how wonderful she was.”’

The trauma of her broken marriage coincided with spectacular solo success for Stevie in America. When other members of Fleetwood Mac came off tour to enjoy the rewards of their multi-platinum record sales, she would be thrown into another round of recording, promoting and touring.

Like some other high achievers in the 80s, Stevie found herself depending on drugs to see her through her busy schedule. “Eventually, I was working so hard that I lost the belief that I could carry on without them,” she says.

It was then, in 1986, that she checked herself into the Betty Ford Clinic in Palm Springs. “Other people can advise you to do it, but you’re the one who has to make the decision. You have to walk through those doors alone.”

Happily for Stevie, the gruelling schedule of therapy, group discussions and manual work cured her, and she has gone on to reach new heights in her career. But the woman who has become one of the legends of rock knows that the financial rewards of her success can never buy her the family she would so dearly love.

“I’ve probably got about two years left in which I could have a baby, but my diary’s booked solid,” she says sadly. “Then again, if it were to happen with somebody I cared about, everything else would take a back seat.”

Being a night owl and workaholic doesn’t help. “I love being awake at night when there’s nobody around. It’s the only time I ever feel really free. So being involved in my life is difficult for any man unless he understands that the way I am isn’t a personal thing against him. I’m just busy.

“I’ll say, ‘Okay, I’m going to sleep with you for 20 minutes until you go to sleep, and then I’m going to get up again. If you can live with that, then I can live with you!'”

At that, Stevie Nicks gives a deep, throaty laugh. She’s a woman who has lived and loved so much and has no time for regrets. “I wouldn’t change a minute of my life. I’ve been to the very bottom and the very top and, if nothing else, I’ve ended up with a well-rounded personality!”

Alan Jackson / Woman’s Own (UK) / August 20, 1990


LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

Billy Joel and Stevie NicksStevie Nicks

FEB 10, 2024
Mark G Etess Arena
Atlantic City, NJ

FEB 14, 2024
UBS Arena
Belmont Park, NY

FEB 17, 2024
CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore, MD

FEB 21, 2024
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Greenville, SC

FEB 24, 2024
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood, FL

FEB 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA

MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE

MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR

MAR 9, 2024
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
Billy Joel

MAY 3, 2024 – MAY 5, 2024
Lovin’ Life Fest
Charlotte, NC

MAY 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO

MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK

MAY 14, 2024
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Nashville, TN

MAY 18, 2024
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San Antonio, TX

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
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MAY 24, 2024
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MAY 27, 2024
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Salt Lake City, UT

MAY 30, 2024
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Indianapolis, IN

JUN 9 
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JUN 12
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JUN 15 
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Hershey, PA

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI

JUN 21, 2024
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Chicago, IL

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Previous 2023 dates

March 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Los Angeles, CA
SoFi Stadium

March 15, 2023
Seattle, WA
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March 18, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
T-Mobile Arena

May 12, 2023
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

May 16, 2023
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May 22, 2023
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Orlando, FL
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June 23, 2023
Chicago, IL
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June 27, 2023
Louisville, KY
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August 8, 2023
Milwaukee, WI
Fiserv Forum

August 12, 2023
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

August 15, 2023
Austin, TX
Moody Center

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Foxborough, MA
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September 27, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
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October 1, 2023
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden

October 4, 2023
Buffalo, NY
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October 28, 2023
Memphis, TN
FedEx Forum

November 1, 2023
Savannah, GA
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November 4, 2023
Allentown, PA
PPL Center

November 7, 2023
Detroit, MI
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Minneapolis, MN
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November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

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Palm Desert, CA
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Phoenix, AZ
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December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
Golden 1 Center

December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
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2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
September 8, 2022
September 10, 2022

Pine Knob Music Theatre
Clarkston, MI
September 13, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Xfinity Center
Mansfield, MA
September 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Bangor, ME
September 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sound on Sound Festival
Bridgeport, CT
September 24-25, 2022

Ohana Festival
Dana Point, CA
September 30, 2022

Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
October 3, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Woodlands, TX
October 9, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Alpharetta, GA
October 12, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ascend Amphitheater
Nashville, TN
October 16, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Credit One Stadium
Charleston, SC
October 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

PNC Music Pavilion
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
October 28, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Orion Amphitheatre
Huntsville, AL
October 31, 2022


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands, TX
November 2, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
November 5, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton