Stevie Nicks deadly virus battle and how she was saved from addiction

Tales From Tour – Stevie Nicks

The voice behind the classics like Dreams and Landslide, Stevie Nicks is known both for her work with the legendary Fleetwood Mac and as a successful solo artist.

Asside from her bewitching vocals and captivating performances, it was Stevie’s volatile relationship with her ‘great love’ and Fleetwood Mac frontman Lindsey Buckingham that made headlines. 

The pair shared an on-again-off-again relationship throughout the early 1970s before ultimately calling it quits in 1976 – just a year and a half after they joined Mac.

But even before her rise to fame, the American singer, songwriter, and producer, hasn’t been dealt the luckiest cards when it comes to health.

In recent years, the star has opened up about her battle with pneumonia and Epstein-Barr virus.

Shortly after her second induction ceremony into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, the then 73-year-old star was hospitalised. When the memorable night started, the Stevie “knew that something was off”.

READ MORE Stevie Nicks health: Singer cancels tour amid health fears

She told Variety back in October 2020: “I knew before I went on stage that something was off, so I had to really pull it together. The next day I got really sick, and I ended up going into the hospital in Philadelphia for a week in ICU [intensive care unit] with double pneumonia and asthma.

“And talk about your oxygen levels going down – my oxygen levels were hardly existing. If I was to go on a ventilator… My mom was on a ventilator for a month, and she was hoarse for the rest of her life.”

Characterised by a stubborn cough, pneumonia describes inflammation of the lungs, usually caused by an infection, according to the NHS.

While most people can get better in two to four weeks, some like Stevie may need treatment in hospital.

Due to the double pneumonia the singer battled, she was more cautious when it came to avoiding COVID-19, prompting her to pull out of multiple shows across America back in August 2021.

In the same interview with Variety, she added: “It’s a virus. It doesn’t care what side you’re on. It’s going to kill you. And I’ve said that if I get it, it’ll kill me. I have compromised lungs. I was really sick last year.

“This virus is never going to go away if the whole world doesn’t get in the game and start wearing their masks and start doing everything you have to do. It’s like a creeping fungus.”

However, these aren’t the only health issues the Arizona-born musician faced.

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Diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus, Stevie shared she was battling a flare-up at the beginning of 2020, according to the Rolling Stone.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that Epstein-Barr virus, or EBV, is one of the most common human viruses in the world that triggers symptoms such as extreme fatigue, sore throat, and body aches.

In the book Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumours by Zoë Howe, the singer said: “Once you have [Epstein-Barr], you have it always. If you get all depressed and worn out, it comes back. It has a lot to do with your state of mind.”

After you contract EBV infection, the virus becomes latent in your body, posing a threat of reactivation. While this doesn’t always cause symptoms, people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop the troubling signs.

When the sickness flares up for Stevie, she tries to rest as much as possible as it makes her “so tired”.

Over the years, Stevie has also candidly spoken about her previous addiction to cocaine during her most hedonistic years with Fleetwood Mac.

However, the star was “saved” when she checked herself into a rehab, after a plastic surgeon told her there will be a hole the size of a 5¢ piece burned into her nose if she won’t stop.

30 days of nine-to-five meetings later, Stevie finally had the courage to throw away coke once and for all, Far Out reports.

Despite the hardship she went through with drugs, Stevie admitted she doesn’t feel as though it “defined” her life.

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