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Flashback: Stevie Nicks Launches Solo Career With ‘Edge of Seventeen’

It may have been her third solo single, but it’s the first one where she didn’t have to share the spotlight with a male duet partner

Earlier this month, Stevie Nicks learned that she was going to become the first woman ever inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on two occasions. “My biggest hope is that I have opened the door due to the fact that there’s 22 men who have gone in twice and zero women,” she told Rolling Stone. “I think that’s really a little off balance. That’s what I’m hoping, that what’s happened here to me will give all the little rock and roll stars that are just waiting out there a little hope that they can also do what I do.”

Nicks the solo star was born in 1981 when Jimmy Iovine took time away from working with Tom Petty to help her craft her debut album. “It was Jimmy that said, ‘I will produce your record and we’ll make you a Tom Petty record, expect it’ll be a girl Tom Petty record,’” Nicks recalled. “I found that very exciting and I was jumping off the walls. That’s how it all started.”

Iovine assembled a killer band that included E Street band keyboardist Roy Bittan, drummer Russ Kunkel, guitarist Waddy Wachtel, bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn and every member of the Heartbreakers besides bassist Ron Blair. The first two singles off Bella Donna — “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Tom Petty and “Leather & Lace” with Don Henley — were duets with other established superstars that helped her earn tons of airplay. Once those entered the Top Ten, they finally released one where she sang by herself. The title was inspired by an offhand comment by Petty’s wife Jane when she told Nicks that they met at “the age of 17.” Due to her thick Northern Florida accent, Nicks heard it as “the edge of 17,” and she was off and running with an incredible new song. Check out a live video for it right here from the 1983 US Festival

Stevie’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame comes right in the middle of a Fleetwood Mac tour, and as of now she hasn’t figured out what songs she’ll perform at the event. “I have to really give that some thought,” she said. “Tomorrow is our last show until the end of January and right now I’m in a hotel because I can’t get out of road mode while we’re still playing, so I’m five minutes from my house, but I’m going home tomorrow night after the show. And then the next day I’ll start thinking about all that.”

Odds are high that “Edge of Seventeen” will be in her set. It may have only peaked at Number 11 on the Hot 100 (by comparison, 1986’s widely-forgotten “Talk to Me” got to Number 5), but it’s become her signature solo song and likely played no small role in getting her into the Hall of Fame in the first place.

From Rolling Stone US