In honor of Stevie Nicks’ birthday (May 26), we’ve rounded up her biggest hits on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart.
The recap not only includes her solo material, but also the Fleetwood Mac songs she wrote and sang lead vocals on.
In the top spot we have her collaboration with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100 chart on Sept. 5, 1981 and is also Tom Petty’s biggest hit on the chart. The track, which was Nicks’ debut solo single and lead track off her first album, Bella Donna, spent 21 weeks on the list, more than any solo or Fleetwood Mac songs. Bella Donna also reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
The No. 2 spot on the list belongs to Nicks’ quintessential Fleetwood Mac song, “Dreams,” which gave the band their only No. 1 hit. The ethereal track experienced an uptick in popularity since its 1977 release, when it soundtracked a TikTok of a man cruising on a skateboard and drinking cranberry juice that went viral in 2020.
Stevie Nicks’ top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits chart (below) is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 ranking. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology over the years, certain eras are weighted to account for different chart turnover rates over various periods.
“Rooms on Fire,” No. 16, July 1, 1989
In a 1989 interview, Nicks is very candid about how “Rooms on Fire” was very close to her own personal life at the time: “‘Rooms on Fire’ is about me. ‘Rooms on Fire’ is about a girl who is a rock n roll star, who has pretty much accepted the fact that she will never, ever, be able to be married or have those children that she wanted.” But the song is also about meeting someone who changes all those expectations. The track was released as the lead single for Nicks’ fourth solo album, The Other Side of the Mirror, and spent 14 weeks on the Hot 100.
“I Can’t Wait,” No. 16, April 12, 1986
According to the Timespace liner notes, Nicks wrote this song after Rock a Little co-producer and her friend since she was 18 Rick Nowels brought her a percussion track and asked if she would consider writing a song for it. Nicks was immediately inspired: “I listened to the song once, and pretended not to be that knocked out, but the second Rick left, I ran in my little recording studio and wrote ‘I Can’t Wait.’ It took all night, and I think it is all about how electric I felt about this music.” The vocal was done in one take, and the song was on the Hot 100 for 13 weeks. Listen here.
“Edge of Seventeen,” No. 11, April 17, 1982
Like many of Nicks’ compositions, “Edge of Seventeen” was inspired by an amalgamation of things. First, according to Rolling Stone, the title came from a conversation with Tom Petty’s then-wife, who told Nicks that she and Petty met at “the age of 17” – but due to her accent, Nicks understood “edge of 17.” She had also been moved by the recent death of John Lennon, and her uncle’s illness and eventual death, per her Timespace liner notes. “Edge of Seventeen” has become one of Nicks’ most enduring solo songs, having been covered by many artists over the years and recently sampled by Miley Cyrus on her single “Midnight Sky.” It stayed on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks. Listen here.
“Rhiannon” (Fleetwood Mac), No. 11, June 5, 1976
Stevie Nicks laid the groundwork for her mystical reputation with the release of “Rhiannon,” which was the second single from Fleetwood Mac’s eponymous White Album. The album was the first to feature Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and “Rhiannon” was the first Fleetwood Mac single ever to feature Nicks as the lead vocalist. According to Rolling Stone, Nicks penned the song before she and Buckingham joined the band, inspired by a novel called Triad, which told the story of a Welsh woman who believes she’s been possessed by a woman named Rhiannon. Nicks was so taken with the name that she “wrote [the] song and made [Rhiannon] into what [she] thought was an old Welsh witch.” “Rhiannon” stayed on the Hot 100 for 18 weeks. Listen here.
“Sara” (Fleetwood Mac), No. 7, Feb. 2, 1980
“Sara” is said to be inspired by different difficult situations in Nicks’ life in the late ‘70s. It’s well known that during the making of Rumours, Nicks left her boyfriend, Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and later had an affair with drummer Mick Fleetwood. Fleetwood left Nicks for her friend Sara, and married her, which the song is partly about. In a 2014 interview, Nicks told Billboard that the song was also when she got pregnant with then-boyfriend Don Henley’s baby and got an abortion: “Had I married Don and had that baby, and had she been a girl, I would have named her Sara. But there was another woman in my life named Sara, who shortly after that became Mick’s wife, Sara Fleetwood.” “Sara” was a significant hit for Fleetwood Mac, hitting the Hot 100 for 14 weeks. Listen here.
“Stand Back,” No. 5, Aug. 20, 1983
One of Nicks’ signature solo songs, “Stand Back” famously featured an uncredited appearance by Prince, who played synthesizer on the track. Nicks had been inspired to write the song after hearing “Little Red Corvette” on the radio on a drive to Santa Barbara on the day she got married, she wrote in the liner notes for Timespace. It has become a staple of Nicks’ live set over the years. “I never get tired of it. ‘Stand Back’ has always been my favorite song onstage because when it starts, it has an energy that comes from somewhere unknown and it seems to have no timespace,” she wrote. The song was released as the lead single for her second solo album, The Wild Heart, and spent 18 weeks on the Hot 100. Listen here.
“Talk to Me,” No. 4, Jan. 25, 1986
“Talk to Me” was released as the lead single for Nicks’ third solo album Rock a Little. The synth-heavy ‘80s hit was written by Chas Sanford. In the liner notes for Timespace, Nicks recalls loving the lyrics but having a hard time singing the song. “It took a long time to finish it though, because I couldn’t quite get the right feeling on it,” she wrote. She finally got a satisfying vocal when drummer Jim Keltner joined a session one night, and the song went on to spend 18 weeks on the Hot 100. Listen here.
“Leather and Lace” (with Don Henley), No. 6, Jan. 23, 1982
In the liner notes of her 1991 compilation album Timespace: The Best of Stevie Nicks, Nicks writes that she originally wrote “Leather and Lace” for Waylon Jennings and his wife (Jessi Colter), trying to illustrate what it’s like to be romantically involved with someone in the same business, a predicament Nicks has experienced plenty of times over. She recorded the demo with her ex-boyfriend, Eagles lead singer and drummer Don Henley. When she found out that Jennings and his wife had broken up and that he wanted to sing it alone, she told him “that only four people in this world could sing this song: [Jennings] and his wife, or me and Don Henley.” Henley and Nicks ended up recording the duet for her debut solo album Bella Donna, and the song stuck around the Hot 100 chart for 19 weeks. Listen here.
“Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac), No. 1, June 18, 1977
While Lindsey Buckingham wrote “Go Your Own Way” as a response to his and Nicks’ brutal breakup in 1976, Nicks wrote the less literal “Dreams,” and gave the band their only Hot 100 No. 1 hit. The song was written during the tempestuous making of their blockbuster album Rumours, on a day where Nicks wasn’t needed in the studio. Speaking to Blender in 2005, she describes going into Sly of Sly and the Family Stone’s studio, which was “a black-and-red room, with a sunken pit in the middle where there was a piano, and a big black-velvet bed with Victorian drapes.” She sat down on the bed and wrote “Dreams” in 10 minutes. Bandmate Christine McVie was unimpressed at first, saying, “It was just three chords and one note in the left hand,” and calling it “boring.” But the song became Rumours’ second single, and spent one week at No. 1, staying on the Hot 100 for a total of 23 weeks. It also found a brand-new audience in 2020, when a man skateboarding and drinking cranberry juice on TikTok soundtracked his chill moment with the classic. Listen here.
“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” (with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), No. 3, Sept. 5, 1981
The iconic duet was written by Tom Petty and released as Stevie Nicks’ first single from her debut solo album Bella Donna. Petty was initially not sold on the idea of giving Nicks the song for her album and making it a duet, but as Petty recounts in the HBO docuseries The Defiant Ones, producer Jimmy Iovine told him: “This is gonna buy you a house.” The song spent 21 weeks on the chart and became Nicks’, as well as Petty’s biggest Hot 100 hit. Listen here.