Stevie Nicks has penned an emotional essay on the one-year anniversary of school shooting in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead. In the missive, which she posted to Instagram with the hashtag #UvaldeStrong, she reflected on her own youth in Texas — several hundred miles away in El Paso — and how lucky she was to get the opportunities she had, taking a ballet class as a third grader that set her on the path to becoming a performer.
“I got to grow up and become Stevie Nicks,” she wrote. “As we ponder the one-year anniversary of Uvalde, and the myriad of shootings that have happened since that fateful day, I can’t help but ask myself, what if I had been shot and killed by a man with a gun while in my ballet class in the third grade? And I can’t help but think of all those little lost futures…”
More from Rolling Stone
“And so, in closing, my arms go around each one of those little hearts like a ring of angels that will always be missing,” she continued. “I will never be able to let this go…” The singer-songwriter promised to keep the memory of what happened in Uvalde alive.
On May 24, 2022, a gunman entered Robb Elementary School and carried out what the Texas Tribune called the deadliest school shooting in Texas history. Nineteen children and two teachers died that day. Police, who were afraid of the shooter’s automatic rifle, waited more than an hour before stopping the shooter, who also died that day.
In a new Rolling Stone feature, parents and family members of the victim speak about standing firm in their hopes of inspiring meaningful legislation that could prevent future tragedies. Their hope is to pass a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle in Texas from 18 to 21.
“That day changed my whole entire life and my whole way of thinking, my demeanor, my attitude,” said Berlinda Arreola, step-grandmother of the 10-year-old victim Amerie Jo Garza. “I walk into a place that I’ve never been. I’m looking to see where the exits are. I go to a parade and I’m looking up at the buildings, making sure that there’s nobody up there… You don’t feel safe anymore because your trust is gone.”
Read Stevie Nicks’ full statement:
THE LOST FUTURES OF UVALDE
My family moved to El Paso Texas when I was in the third grade. I started a new school, and one of the classes they offered was ballet. After only a week I came home and told my mom, “I’m going to be a prima ballerina.”
She said, “I believe you.”
I said, “I know.” And I danced away. That was the beginning. The first page of the greatest love story of my life, my love for dance and music.
Another year, another page, and I hear my grandfather in the driveway. He showed up with a truck load of 45’s and we sat on the floor in my room listening to them all and singing along. He said, “You’re a natural harmony singer, Stephanie. That’s a very special thing you can do.”
I ran to my mom and said, “I’m going to be a country singer and Granddad thinks I can to it.”
And my mother said, “What about ballet?”
I told her, “I’ll bring it with me. I’ll dance on stage.”
She said, “I believe you.” And I smiled and danced away.
The 5th grade brought car radios playing the Shirelles, Martha and the Vandellas, the Crystals, the Chantelles, and the Shangri-las. Harmonies sung at the top of my lungs in the backseat of my parents’ car. My dreams never changed; they were growing faster than I was. I couldn’t contain it. I sang to make room for the beat of my own heart. I danced to keep up with the spinning of my mind.
I wore my first top hat on stage in a sixth-grade talent show with a black skirt and vest and black capezio tap shoes. (Sound familiar) With a brush and ball change, I tap danced to Buddy Holly’s “Everyday.”
Then my family moved to California and by the time I was fifteen that love for music was unbreakable. My parents bought me a Goya guitar and after taking one month of guitar lessons and learning five chords I finally wrote my first song. I played it for mom and dad and told them I was gonna be a singer-songwriter. They said, “We believe you, we always did, but first you need to go to college.” And I did, for almost 5 years. I met a boy and eventually we started making music together. One day we got a call from a band and went to a dinner that changed our lives.
When I look back, it all happened so fast. I was just a ten-year-old in El Paso, Texas deciding what to do with the rest of my life. I knew my destiny so many pages ago. I still write on that guitar. I still feel the ballet in every move. I got to grow up and join Fleetwood Mac. I got to write music for the world for 50 years, that I hope has touched people’s hearts.
I got to grow up and become Stevie Nicks.
As we ponder the one-year anniversary of Uvalde, and the myriad of shootings that have happened since that fateful day, I can’t help but ask myself, what if I had been shot and killed by a man with a gun while in my ballet class in the third grade? And I can’t help but think of all those little lost futures…
And so, in closing, my arms go around each one of those little hearts like a ring of angels that will always be missing. I will never be able to let this go…
If anything, I will do all I can to keep this story alive.
Best of Rolling Stone