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1981 saw the release of Stevie Nicks’ debut solo album Bella Donna, her first foray into the music world on her own terms and without the checks and balances of being in a band like Fleetwood Mac. A commercial success that achieved platinum status within three months of its release, Bella Donna took Nicks to brand new heights with four hit singles between 1981 and 1982 and yielded a short, 13-date national tour that found her creatively reimagining Fleetwood Mac classics like “Gold Dust Woman” and “Dreams” in addition to her own solo material, much to the delight of the sold out crowds that packed venues night after night.
Fun Fact: Nicks’ best-selling solo album to date, Bella Donna has since been certified quadruple platinum.
The tour, appropriately called the White Wing Dove Tour, was an overwhelming success; Stevie Nicks proved to be a force to be reckoned with as a solo artist just as she did when she joined Fleetwood Mac 6 years earlier, a seemingly endless source of energy who made each show on the tour better than the last. So when the White Wing Dove Tour reached its final night on December 13th, 1981 at the Wilshire Fox Theater in Los Angeles, the show carried a note of sadness to it – one that didn’t surface until the last note of “Rhiannon,” when Stevie actually began to cry.
It’s incredibly hard to tear your eyes away from such a profoundly vulnerable moment in Stevie’s career, but the blend of triumph, exhaustion, and sadness at having to say goodbye to such a life changing experience is an important glimpse into what, exactly, sets her so far apart from other entertainers. Check it out in the video below!