updated 03/26/2014 AT 7:35 PM ET
•originally published 03/27/2014 AT 9:00 AM ET
It’s a Fleetwood Mac lovefest!
After leaving one of the most successful rock bands of all time 16 years ago, Christine McVie is back – and her band mates couldn’t be happier.
“We’re thrilled,” the band’s co-founder and drummer, Mick Fleetwood, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “She’s just the dearest of friends and we’ve remained that way always. We’ve always missed Chris. To have a key, key member return to the fold is huge. It’s really not happened, to my knowledge in any shape or form, on this level.”
McVie, 70, whose songs “Little Lies” and “Say You Love Me” were among Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits, tells PEOPLE exclusively, “I honestly could never in my wildest dreams have thought I could return to the band. It’s just a dream come true. I go to bed going, ‘This is so great. This is what I’ve been yearning for all these years and I didn’t know it.’ We’re family. We’re very lucky.”
All five members of the band reunited this morning when McVie, along with her ex-husband, John McVie (who is “on the mend” after a cancer diagnosis last year, she says), Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks appeared on Today to officially announce the return of the keyboardist and singer/songwriter.
Starting this fall, McVie will join Fleetwood Mac on its upcoming tour, On with the Show, and the band may release a new album “down the road,” she says.
Fans, of course, are thrilled to have her back – and are wondering if there will be any drama, since the band was known as much for its mega-hits as for its feuds and, um, offstage fun.
“Us?” joked Fleetwood.
Says McVie, “Well, it wouldn’t be Fleetwood Mac without a bit of drama, you know. Of course there will be some drama, but for the most part I have to say everyone is getting along really well. At the moment the drama is kind of the fun.”