Christine McVie's death after a "short illness" was a surprise to many – including Fleetwood Mac bandmate Stevie Nicks.

News of the 79-year-old's death Wednesday at her London home was confirmed by the band. "I didn't even know she was ill until late Saturday night," Nicks wrote in a new Twitter post. "I wanted to be in London, I wanted to get to London – but we were told to wait."

McVie began working with Fleetwood Mac on their second album, 1968's Mr. Wonderful. She met Stevie Nicks when Lindsey Buckingham and Nicks joined the lineup seven years later. Nicks described McVie as "my best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975."

They were among the co-writers on "The Chain" from 1977's Rumours and shared stages together in Fleetwood Mac for decades, but Nicks kept coming back to a different group's song when thinking about her late friend: "Hallelujah" from Haim's 2020 album Women in Music Pt. III.

"I thought I might possibly get to sing it to her," Nicks said. "I always knew I would need these words one day." The key lyrics include: "I had a best friend but she has come to pass – one I wish I could see now. ... You were there to protect me like a shield, long hair running with me through the field."

"See you on the other side, my love," Nicks added. "Don't forget me."

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