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Music

Stevie Nicks on the difficult combination of menopause and rock music

Stevie Nicks has led a life quite like no other. The frontwoman of Fleetwood Mac has experienced both sides of the coin, from her early days as an unknown folk artist with then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham to superstardom in one of rock’s most influential dynasties, Nicks has seen and done things that ordinary people wouldn’t believe, and duly, has her fair share of wild tales to tell.

A captivating performer and storyteller, Nicks espouses sage wisdom that we could all learn a thing or two from. Her propensity to regale us with stories that she tells with such candour is of the kind that one would expect for one of the greatest songwriters of the modern era. From drugs to heartbreak and death, over the years, she’s elucidated on many topics that we tend to tiptoe around in ordinary life. 

Not afraid of any subject, it won’t surprise you to find out that Nicks has also given her opinion on menopause, a serious life-altering moment that all women experience.

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As many will already know, some of the most common symptoms are hot flushes, chills, mood changes, weight gain, sweats and sleeping problems, and these are only just some of what can occur. Understandably, it’s a challenging time that many women struggle with as it affects life significantly, and everyone feels it in entirely different ways.

Given the hectic nature of Nicks’ profession, you’d think that it would have seriously impacted her career, particularly when you note her following assessment: “Rock and menopause do not mix. It is not good, it sucks and every day I fight it to the death, or, at the very least, not let it take me over.”

However, Nicks didn’t let it become an all-encompassing thing, as she had too much to do. No mean feat by any stretch of the imagination, what she managed to achieve whilst going through menopause at its peak is remarkable. 

During this time, she continued to juggle her solo career and Fleetwood Mac, filmed a cameo in American Horror Story: Coven, and worked for the charity the United Service Organizations. She didn’t stop there either. Alongside all this work, Nicks collaborated with a host of musicians ranging from Bob Dylan to Sheryl Crow.

In a 2011 interview with The GuardianNicks elucidated on her experiences with menopause and when asked whether it was fully behind her, she answered: “Well, kind of. My mom is 83 and she still has hot flushes. She just starts to sweat from the very top of her head. So there’s parts of it that I feel don’t ever go away. It’s a way of life and you learn to live with it.”

She then discussed whether menopause has made it harder to go on stage. “No,” she replied, “Because when you’re on stage you have to forget about it. There is no dizzies, there is no cramps, there is no menopause. All there is, is the audience and what you do. So you feel great for those two hours. And when I come offstage, then I can burst into tears.”

As Nicks says, menopause never truly leaves you, but the way that she has dealt with it and continued on an upwards trajectory in her career is phenomenal. This is just one reason why Stevie Nicks is one of the most treasured figures in music. 

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