In recent years, Fleetwood Mac have become the band du jour for many country artists; in fact, Little Big Town and the Highwomen have both done live covers of "The Chain," while the 2018 MusiCares tribute to the band saw Brandi Carlile, Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas, the Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban and LBT once again pay tribute to the classic rockers.
It's easy to see why country artists gravitate toward Fleetwood Mac: The group's sturdy songwriting and lyrical themes -- heartbreak, relationships busting up, being a dreamer -- mesh well with traditional country songs. Plus there's more than a little folk influence in Fleetwood Mac's music, which explains why they're Americana patron saints as well.
Of course, much of this influence has to do with songwriter and vocalist Stevie Nicks, who joined Fleetwood Mac along with her then-boyfriend, Lindsey Buckingham, in late 1974. Nicks grew up familiar with country as she adored her grandfather, AJ Nicks, who was an aspiring country and Western singer-songwriter.
"He left his family and took freight trains and traveled all over, playing in bars and supporting himself by playing pool," Nicks told Interview in 1995. "So my mom and dad thought, 'Well, there she goes. She's gonna walk down the same road as her grandfather.' And luckily I became a bit more successful than he was."
Nicks certainly has been wildly successful, both solo and with Fleetwood Mac -- and in both the rock and country realms. Read on to remember five times she "went country."
"After the Glitter Fades" Hits the Country Charts
In 1981, Nicks stepped out on her own, away from Fleetwood Mac, and released the solo LP Bella Donna. The album spawned four Top 40 hits, including "After the Glitter Fades," a song dominated by pedal steel and sighing piano. The song also crossed over to other Billboard charts: On July, 3, 1982, "After the Glitter Fades" peaked at No 70 on the Hot Country Singles chart. In perhaps the biggest compliment Nicks could have received for her songwriting, Glen Campbell cut a version of the song for 1984's Letter to Home.
Stevie Nicks Teams Up (a Lot!) With Lady Antebellum
In 2013, Lady Antebellum and Nicks teamed up for an episode of CMT's Crossroads that found them all tackling Lady A hits ("Need You Now," "Love Don't Live Here") and performing Fleetwood Mac classics ("Rhiannon," "Gold Dust Woman," "Landslide") and Nicks solo hits ("Edge of Seventeen"). The following year, Lady A enlisted Nicks for a new version of their song "Golden," in no small part because the song's harmonies and stripped-back folk vibe certainly echo Fleetwood Mac's 1977 blockbuster Rumours. For good measure, Nicks also joined Lady A to perform "Golden" and her Mac classic "Rhiannon" at the 2014 ACM Awards.
Stevie Nicks Covers Tom Petty With Charles Kelley
When Lady Antebellum's Charles Kelley stepped out on his own for 2016's The Driver, he tapped a familiar voice to help him on a melancholy, gorgeous cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Southern Accents": Nicks. The Fleetwood Mac member, who frequently collaborated with Petty, added her usual inimitable harmonies and leads to the song.
Maren Morris, Sheryl Crow and Nicks "Prove You Wrong"
Sheryl Crow's most recent album, 2019's Threads, is a star-studded affair that features a who's-who of musicians. One of the many highlights: Maren Morris and Nicks joining Crow for the easygoing (but empowering) "Prove You Wrong." Of course that's not the only time Nicks and Crow have collaborated: The former also harmonized on the latter's songs "C'mon, C'mon" and "You're Not the One."
Stevie Nicks Celebrates New Year's Eve With Keith Urban
When Keith Urban headlined a massive New Year's Eve 2019 concert in Nashville, he brought out Nicks for performances of her solo hit "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and Fleetwood Mac's "Second Hand News." The collaboration also gave Urban a chance to show off some of his best Lindsey Buckingham-esque guitar licks -- a great bonus, indeed!