stevie nicks is one of the greatest rock musicians ever, but there was a time when the Fleetwood Mac star wanted to sing in a completely different genre. Here’s what Nicks said about being an R&B singer and how her earliest performances from her inspired her career from her.
Stevie Nicks got her start as a musician by singing with her grandfather
Long before she was a rock star with Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks got her start by singing with her grandfather, Aaron Jess Nicksknown as AJ
According to Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks, AJ was a country singer with a faltering career. He effectively launched Nicks’ singing career from her by encouraging her to harmonize with him when she was just five years old.
“He taught her harmony by having her sing ‘Darling Clementine’ while he took the higher harmony,” the author, Stephen Davis, wrote. “Then he reversed it, and she picked up the harmonic immediately, by ear. It was complicated for a child, but she could do it. He could tell Stevie was a gifted harmony singer.”
The author added, “Stevie couldn’t even read yet, but she had the natural singer’s innate ability to repeat the words of a song after hearing them only a few times.”
Nicks’ grandfather started taking her to perform at parties and local saloons, which she loved, until her parents put a stop to it. AJ wanted to take Stevie on the road, but her parents insisted she was too young and needed to start school.
Stevie Nicks said she originally wanted to be an R&B singer
Since Stevie Nicks grew up learning to harmonize with a country music singer, it would make sense if she once aspired to be a country artist. She was asked about the genre and her grandfather of her in an interview for Q Magazine in May 2008.
When asked if she wanted to be a country singer like Aaron, Nicks responded, “No, R&B. This was back when a lot of the records on the charts were Motown or Phil Spector girl-group songs.”
She continued, “I remember sitting in the back of the car and saying to my mom and dad, ‘Could you hold it down up there because I’m singing and your talking is bothering me.’ I was a driven little human being from the very beginning.”
Although her parents didn’t want her touring with her grandfather at a young age, Nicks said they always encouraged her singing. “But they were very supportive,” she explained. “They said, ‘We don’t care if you do music, but you have to do your school and you have to get OK grades.’ And they supported me all the way through the time when I was in the band with Lindsey [Buckingham].”
The Fleetwood Mac star recalled her first appearance on stage
Stevie Nicks got her start performing with her grandfather at local saloons, and before she became a teenager, she was singing on a real stage.
When asked about the first time she was on stage, the “Gypsy” singer Surprisingly revealed that she did not choose an R&B song. “My real first time onstage was a talent show I did with my best friend Colleen in sixth grade, doing a tap dance to Buddy Holly’s ‘Every Day,’” she revealed. It was then that she realized she wanted to be a professional entertainer. “We practiced it about a million times and we were perfect, and that was my first real time of going, ‘OK, this is happening. This is what I’m going to do.’”