Gold Dust Woman The Biography of Stevie Nicks, Stephen Davis
Home » Stevie Nicks bio bares all about the singer

Stevie Nicks bio bares all about the singer

A new Stevie Nicks biography, out November 21, bares all about the singer — drugs, love, failures and triumphs

Stevie Nicks’ truth is somewhere behind the Rumours.

The 1977 Fleetwood Mac album yielded six No. 1 hits, becoming one of the best-selling records of all time. (Rumours yielded one No. 1 hit, “Dreams. —Ed.) One of those songs was “Gold Dust Woman” — now the title of an unauthorized Nicks bio due out later this month.

Author Stephen Davis chronicles the airy-fairy goddess of rock from her childhood through her plans to go on tour with Fleetwood Mac in 2018.

“The fact is that nobody has a clue to what my life was really like,” Davis quotes the singer as saying.

Maybe. But 332 pages later, we have a pretty good idea.

Now 69, Nicks has inspired performers as disparate as Taylor Swift, Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, Sheryl Crow and the Dixie Chicks. Even if you can’t quite place Nicks, her songs remain inescapable: “Landslide,” “Leather and Lace,” “Rhiannon.”

She’s the blond, petite singer with the sultry voice whose duet with Tom Petty in “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” is even more heartbreaking since his death.

“I fell in love with his music and his band,” Nicks once said of Petty. “If I ever got to know Tom Petty and could worm my way into his good graces, if he asked me to leave my band and join his, I’d probably do it. And that was before I even met him.”

Nicks shared her desire with her manager and Petty agreed to produce a track with her. He came away unimpressed — more so with her entourage than with Nicks.

Petty instead recommended she work with a producer who had helped him, Jimmy Iovine.

It was hardly a match made in heaven. Iovine was scheduled to work on the fourth Heartbreakers album, not to guide Nicks through her solo debut.

And, the author notes, the Brooklyn-born Iovine and the ethereal Nicks were mismatched in personality and style.

“He was like the anti-Nicks,” writes Davis. “Crystal visions were not for him.”

Despite the doubts, they moved quickly from studio cohorts to lovers. She confided in girlfriends how much she loved his “little Greek body,” and when Iovine wasn’t around she called him “the little one.”

Davis tracks Nicks’ other lovers, beginning with Lindsey Buckingham. She was a senior and he was a junior at Menlo-Atherton High School in California when they met in a church where weekly music sessions were held.

Buckingham started playing “California Dreamin’” and she harmonized.

The two then went their separate ways. Three years later, he reached out, asking her to join a band.

She did, and the longtime couple struggled to make it as Buckingham Nicks. She worked hard outside the studio, too — cleaning houses, waiting tables.

Buckingham? Not so much.

Several stories recount Nicks coming home exhausted to find Buckingham and his friends, stoned. He landed some gigs playing guitar and she kept singing and writing.

It was during this period that Nicks read a novel about a Welsh witch and wrote the hit-single-in-waiting “Rhiannon.” And she penned another song, this one titled “Landslide.”

Even though their band failed to take off, people in the industry took notice. Fleetwood Mac, a bluesy British band, asked Nicks and Buckingham to join them.

The group’s new incarnation soon turned messy and complicated. It was the mid-’70s, and drug-fueled nights led to new relationships.

Eventually drummer Mick Fleetwood and Nicks became lovers.

It was about then that Nicks started working with designer Margi Kent. When Nicks assessed her hips as too wide and her breasts as too small, Kent reportedly told her that she “would be easier to dress if (she) added some letters to her bra size.”

She did get implants. Nicks, though, always had a distinct sense of style, going back to when she was a kid. For a fourth grade tap dance recital she wore a top hat, black vest and skirt, white top and heeled dance shoes.

That served as the foundation for the look she honed over the years. She became a fashion icon with her almost magical appearance: Swirling skirts, gossamer fabrics and shawls. Her look would inspire clothing lines, websites and generations of women in swirly skirts.

The genesis of her fashion sense was a mom who sewed her clothes, including a cowgirl outfit Nicks wore at age 5 while singing in saloons with her grandfather.

Her dad’s dad was a singer who never made it. When he realized his little granddaughter could handle complex harmonies, he imagined taking her to the Grand Ole Opry. After decades of toiling in anonymity, he figured the gimmick he needed was singing with his adorable granddaughter.

Stevie’s mother nixed that idea.

Her parents encouraged her but became worried when Nicks, in her 20s, was broke, sick all the time and exhausted. Nicks considered becoming a speech therapist but stuck with singing and writing songs.

She kept filling journals as she went through romances and a brief marriage to her best friend’s widower.

When Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles were touring, Nicks walked into her dressing room one night to find a huge bouquet of roses with a card: “To Stevie: The best of my love – tonight? Love, Don.”

Turns out the ham-handed move was a practical joke from her own bandmates, teasing her about Don Henley.

When she and Henley did hook up, he was far smoother and sent over a stereo, records and beautiful flowers.

Among her other lovers was record executive Paul Fishkin, who helped propel her career.

Fishkin considered Nicks the key to Fleetwood Mac. The band had been kicking around for years. They only hit it big once Nicks and Buckingham joined the band. Still, she held onto her waitressing job — just in case.

Though now the one bringing in the crowds, Nicks had no real sway in the band. Getting the songs that she wanted on the albums became a struggle, according to Davis.

Initially, Nicks lacked the courage that she could go it alone. Fishkin assured her she could.

Around this time, her New Age-y side blossomed. Nicks had also started using a lot of cocaine, landing in rehab for the first time in 1982.

A few years later, when in Australia and unable to get her hands on any coke, she started drinking heavily and fell off stages. Her friends staged an intervention and Nicks went off to the Betty Ford Center.

Then, while on the anti-panic attack drug Klonopin, life turned really scary. Nicks began taking too much and often felt completely out of it. Always small at 5-foot-1 and very slight, Nicks ballooned up to 175 pounds and was smoking three packs of menthols a day.

She checked herself into a hospital and detoxed for 47 days. When clean, she went back to work, touring behind her 1994 Street Angel album. She was brutally honest about her own work.

“I listened to the record — I’m off all the drugs — and I knew it was terrible,” she said. “It had cost a fortune.”

Nicks finished the tour and took stock of herself. She had the breast implants removed, started exercising, quit smoking and worked hard to create music.

She tried collaborating again with Petty, who was going through a divorce. Ultimately she would sing again with her old pals in Fleetwood Mac and she kept moving forward.

Were Nicks to write an autobiography now, it could easily be called “Don’t Stop.”

Jacqueline Cutler / New York Daily News / Saturday, November 11, 2017


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
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO

Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY

JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI

JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

Two Icons One Night presented by Live Nation
^ Non-Live Nation show

Previous 2023 dates

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

March 15, 2023
Seattle, WA
Climate Pledge Arena

March 18, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
T-Mobile Arena

May 12, 2023
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

May 16, 2023
Knoxville, TN
Thompson-Boling Arena

May 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Nashville, TN
Nissan Stadium

May 22, 2023
Atlanta, GA
State Farm Arena

May 25, 2023
Orlando, FL
Amway Center

June 16, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Philadelphia, PA
Lincoln Financial Field

June 20, 2023
Toronto, ON (Canada)
Scotiabank Arena

June 23, 2023
Chicago, IL
United Center

June 27, 2023
Louisville, KY
KFC Yum! Center

August 5, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Columbus, OH
Ohio Stadium

August 8, 2023
Milwaukee, WI
Fiserv Forum

August 12, 2023
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

August 15, 2023
Austin, TX
Moody Center

August 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Kansas City, MO
Arrowhead Stadium

September 23, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Foxborough, MA
Gillette Stadium

September 27, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
PPG Paints Arena

October 1, 2023
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden

October 4, 2023
Buffalo, NY
KeyBank Center

October 7, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Baltimore, MD 
M&T Bank Stadium

October 28, 2023
Memphis, TN
FedEx Forum

November 1, 2023
Savannah, GA
Enmarket Arena

November 4, 2023
Allentown, PA
PPL Center

November 7, 2023
Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Arena

November 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Bank Stadium

November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

December 5, 2023
Palm Desert, CA
Acisure Arena

December  8, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Phoenix, AZ
Chase Field

December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
Golden 1 Center

December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
Chase Center

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