May 1, 2001 marks the fifth anniversary of the commercial release of Trouble in Shangri-La — Stevie Nicks’ sixth solo album and her first full length release since 1994’s Street Angel. Working with a talented cast of musicians, which included Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, and Natalie Maines, Nicks delivered her strongest collection of songs since her 1981 groundbreaking solo debut Bella Donna.
Highly anticipated, Trouble in Shangri-La impressively debuted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 200 Album Chart, selling over 100,000 copies in its first week of release. Earning critical and fan acclaim, the album exceeded industry expectation and went gold (500,000 units shipped to retailers) in just six weeks. Shangri-La spawned the singles “Every Day” [official video], “Sorcerer” [official video], and “Planets of the Universe,” which earned a 2001 Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
Nicks supported Trouble in Shangri-La with a full-scale North American tour, which ominously lived up to the album’s title, as a series of unexpected events undermined the spirit and pace of the tour. Early on, respiratory illness forced Nicks to postpone shows, a setback that would follow her throughout the tour.
On September 11, terrorists executed organized attacks in New York and Pennsylvania, which halted the tour completely, leading to national turmoil and more cancellations. In spite of these troubles, Nicks (who was in New York at the time of the attacks) carried on with the encouragement of her friends, family, and fans, finishing the regular tour on a high note in October. Nicks reflected on her experience of September 11th in her journal entries, which were published on her official website, and later in the song “Illume (9-11)” from Fleetwood Mac’s 2003 album Say You Will.
Five years later, Trouble in Shangri-La remains as one of Nicks’ most accomplished and cohesive solo recordings to date.