In the early 1980s, Stevie Nicks began a relationship with producer Jimmy Iovine. The two were working together on Nicks’ debut solo album Bella Donna when they began dating. Though their relationship was on and off again, they continued working together on Nicks’ solo career. She believed that he helped her career truly take off. Despite this, their working relationship suffered a massive blow over the lyrics to a song that Nicks did not write. She once said that this argument marked the end of their working relationship.
Stevie Nicks began a relationship with Jimmy Iovine in secret
Nicks and Iovine met when Tom Petty suggested they work together on Nicks’ debut solo album. They quickly began dating, and Nicks shared that within roughly ten days, she had practically moved into Iovine’s house.
Despite the intensity of their relationship, they kept it a secret because of Petty. Iovine was producing albums for both artists. They knew that if Petty found out about the romance, he would assume Iovine would put more effort into Nicks’ album.
“So Jimmy had this house in Sherman Oaks, and I was pretty much living there, but whenever Tom would come over I would hide in the bedroom downstairs,” Nicks said, per the book Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis. “Jimmy didn’t even want to mention me to Tom.”
Their working relationship ended after a fight about another artist’s song
Per Davis, the romance between Iovine and Nicks ended for good in 1984 when Nicks began dating The Eagles’ Joe Walsh. Still, they continued working together on a professional level. Nicks greatly valued this relationship, as it helped give her a highly successful solo career. This changed with a suggestion from Iovine.
He believed Nicks should record the Warren Zevon song “Reconsider Me.” She prickled at the suggestion.
“When Jimmy brought me the song, he thought it was going to be a key song in my career, like a second `Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,’” she told the Boston Globe in 1998. “But we got in a big fight, because I really don’t like to do other people’s songs that often. That’s why I write my own songs.”
She explained that some of the lyrics would have felt unnatural to her.
“I was pretty crazy at that point in my life, and you couldn’t tell me anything,” she said. “And I said to him, `I would never say the words “‘reconsider me” to somebody. I would never ask somebody to reconsider loving me.’ Well, he thought that was the biggest bunch of crap he’d ever heard, so we had a big fight about it and that’s just about the last time Jimmy and I ever worked together.”
Years later, Nicks released the song on her Enchanted box set.
“But all these years later, I’m not uptight about it anymore,” she said. “And Zevon was a very good friend … I’m delighted to be doing Warren’s song now.”
Stevie Nicks thanked Jimmy Iovine in her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame speech
Any hard feelings between Nicks and Iovine have long since passed. During her 2018 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, she dedicated a performance of “Landslide” to him. In her speech, she thanked Iovine for convincing her that she could make her role in Fleetwood Mac work seamlessly with a solo career.
“He was right,” she said, per Variety. “Here we are.”
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