There’s not many artists that reach the level of stardom as the one and only Stevie Nicks. With over five decades within the music industry, the former Fleetwood Mac singer has solidified herself as an American treasure and inspirations for the many who love to her.
She and the rest of Fleetwood Mac have been the soundtrack to many people’s lives with iconic alums like Rumors, Tusk, and Mirage. Though bouts of scandal legendarily put the band into hiatus – only to return to the stage years later – Nicks paved quite the lane for herself with her solo career, releasing songs that practically everyone knows and can sing along to.
Any true fan of Nicks will remember her highly well received guest appearance on the third season of FX’s American Horror Story. She recently stepped back into the spotlight when Dreams was part of a popular trend on Tik Tok. Though not many people know of the truly patriotic acts she’s done to support her country’s troops.
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Stevie Visits Troops
As troops are currently coming back home from their long expedition in the Middle East, many look back at the horrific events that still haunt those who were on the front lines. As tensions were quite high, the 00’s were a grim time for those who had family members within overseas.
In 2006, Nicks started an organization in effort to bring a bit of joy to the heroic troops who were injured in battle: Soldier’s Angel. The idea to give back came to her after visiting a military hospital, in Washington D.C, where she witnessed the demoralizing carnages of war.
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“You’re in a room with about 25 to 40 soldiers who have all been left without limbs and you’re told that this young guy has lost both his legs and all his friends were killed by a bomb. It changed me forever,” the singer laments in a statement, “hey have prosthetic limbs and many of them need two years of rehab. You can’t imagine how expensive this is. I left thinking, `What can I do?’ I can’t exactly take my guitar, which I play very badly, and play for them”
Nicks states that the sight of these injured soldiers shook her to her core. She’d stay in the center from all hours of the day, greeting and giving solace to the men and women who lost so much to protect their country.
“You put on a gown and gloves and they say, ‘Well, this guy’s name is John Jones and he was injured in a blast and lost both legs. He’s had a bad day, but he’s very excited to see you,” she tells SFGate.
Healing though Music
It shook her so much, she had to act. Thus, she created the charity foundation, Soldier’s Angels.
In 2006, she enlisted the assistance famed rock-n-roll photographer Neal Preston to put together an exhibition and spread awareness of the organization at the Morrison Hotel Gallery. She then hosted a star studded charity party that included the likes of Keith Emerson, Nancy Wilson, Cameron Crowe to go along with the exhibition.
Nicks ended up returning to the center equipped with tons of iPods for the wounded soldiers. They were autographed iPod Nano chocked full of songs added by Nick’s adoring fans.
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“I’m asking people to give me money for iPods and I’m going to fill them with my favorite songs and I’ll take the iPods with me every time I go back and the music will help them with their rehabilitation. It makes them happy.”
She continued to visit troops, even bringing popcorn to have movie nights with them. When word got to her that there was a facility for amputees being built in San Antonio, she set out to the location on her tour to figure out what they needed and how she could be of service.
Though she was vigilant in her efforts to do all she could to assistant America’s veterans, she had no interest in speaking upon the politics of the war. Her sole objective was spreading joy to those who fought, not sharing her opinions on the goings on that took place on Capitol Hill.
Honored by the USO
Her beyond laudable efforts were commended in March 2015 when she was invited to the Washington-Baltimore 33rd Annual Awards Dinner. Her diligent efforts granted her with the organization’s Outstanding Achievement Award. According to ABC News, she held the record for the “most hours over a five-year period visiting combat-wounded service members as part of USO-Metro’s celebrity handshake tours.”
“It’s not like anything else,” she says in an ABC interview in regards to the accolade, “it’s not like the Grammy. This is something that I do by myself. It’s the thing I’m most proud of.”
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Sources: Stevie Nicks Info, SFGate, Morrison Hotel Gallery, ABC News
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