My Kind of Woman

The journey of a famous singer and songwriter with local ties and how she uses her influence to advocate women empowerment.

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Stevie Nicks moved to the Bay Area in the early 60s and graduated from Menlo Atherton High School, where she met Lindsey Buckingham,  in 1966. They then went on to attend San Jose State University where they formed a band, Buckingham Nicks. 

In the interest of furthering their musical career, Nicks and Buckingham moved to Los Angeles where they wrote and recorded their first, self-titled album, Buckingham Nicks in 1974. This album contained 10 new songs, and despite the time and effort put in by the two of them, the album was not a success. The record label pulled the album from the shelves and they had to start from scratch. 

At the same time Fleetwood Mac, a popular British blues band, had lost some of their founding members including guitarist Bob Welch. When in LA drummer Mick Fleetwood saw Buckingham playing guitar, he knew he needed him in the band. However, Nicks and Buckingham were a packaged deal and after hearing Nicks sing they were both added to the band in 1975.

I loved her independent woman style. She was just very unique, she didn’t really follow any trends, she was just herself.”

— Lisa Maund

In the 70s, Fleetwood Mac produced some of their most popular albums, including the self-titled Fleetwood Mac, and one of the best selling albums of all time, Rumors. The next album that Fleetwood Mac produced, paled in comparison to the success they had with Rumors. Tusk was an experimental album, spearheaded by Lindsey Buckingham’s unique songwriting and guitar stylings. 

During the production of Tusk, Nicks started to work on her solo album. In 1981, while still in Fleetwood Mac, she released her first solo album, Bella Donna with Modern Records. 

Stevie Nicks was an icon to a lot of women. Many young women looked up to her starting at young ages, including Lisa Maund, 55, a super fan of Nicks.

“I got introduced to her in the late 1970s because of Fleetwood Mac which was one of the most popular bands in the 70s,” Maund says.

While Fleetwood Mac consisted of many famous musicians like Lindsey Buckingham, former boyfriend of Nicks, and Peter Green, Nicks stood out as one of the main stars. At that time, this was a big deal because she was one of two female stars in a predominantly male band. 

“I can only think of a handful of women that starred in really popular bands that broke out on their own and made successful careers, so I thought that was pretty amazing,” Maund said.

Nicks was a trend setter; she was very unique in the way she dressed and this was one reason she was such an icon to many. 

“I loved her independent woman style,” Maund said. “She was just very unique, she didn’t really follow any trends, she was just herself.” 

Nicks broke off from the band to pursue her solo career in 1990. Many fans connected more to her solo releases, like the song “Edge of Seventeen,” that resonated with her younger fans through words of growth and young love..

“I was around 17, so I totally related to that song,” Maund said. “It came out right when I was that age and it’s just about trying to be an adult, you’re still a teenager, but you want to be older.”

Nicks’ unique style has appealed to many. One of the reasons she is so popular is that she’s never followed anybody else, she just did her own thing. 

“Hairstyle, or fashion she had her own thing, she was kind of like a gypsy woman,” Maund said. “She didn’t get famous for her looks, it was because she was talented and unique and I love that.” 

Nicks’ confident and free energy made her a symbol for women’s rights. Nicks proved to the world that women, just like men, could be successful and gain a following in both a band and solo career. 

She didn’t get famous for her looks, it was because she was talented and unique and I love that.”

— Lisa Maund, superfan

Just two years after Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac their rise to fame exploded after the release of the album Rumors in 1977. This quickly grew the bands fan base and while Nicks’ recognition grew for her lyricism and vocal stylings. Fans of every age still seem to have a special place in their heart for the music that Nicks had a part in creating, including Caroline Mostofizadeh, a Paly sophomore.

“She’s definitely a role model for me because she’s such an amazing singer and a feminist that proved to the world she was capable of being bigger than what the media dipicted her to be,” Mostofizadeh said. 

Since her rise in fame, Nicks has always attracted women to her concerts due to her activist aura and drive. Nicks used her platform to empower women in the music industry, and she continues to look up to and inspire other women rights activists, calling Ruth Bader Ginsburg a “political rock star.”

Nicks used her platform to gain recognition for women all over the country. She inspires women everyday to live their lives with no regard for what is supposed to be “ladylike” or “polite” but stresses the importance of just being you.

“I’ve grown up listening to her music and thinking there was always something special about her and it wasn’t her talent, you could tell she was a part of something bigger,” Mostofizadeh said. 

She’s definitely a role model for me because she’s such an amazing singer and a feminist that proved to the world she was capable of being bigger than what the media dipicted her to be. ”

— Caroline Mostofizadeh, sophomore

Nicks transformed her career in music into a revolution for female empowerment. In 2019 she became the first ever woman to be inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame twice, alongside more than 20 men. As one of the most influential female leaders to ever show female dominance within an industry that is predominantly male, Nicks has been able to convey the message that confidence among women is a good thing and not something to be frowned upon. 

Nicks continues to be an activist, spreading her message through her actions and voice. Through her large platform, she teaches and inspires women to be carelessly themselves and to not depend on a man. She has inspired several artists both male and female including: Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey, Harry Styles and more. Recently reaching the billboard hot 100 for her song “Rumors,” she has also topped the songwriters chart for her song “Dreams.” Stevie Nicks has also just released her new movie “24 Karat Gold.” 

Inspiring many women throughout the years and even today, Nicks’ legacy will be everlasting and a constant reminder to not settle just because it is comfortable.