Rocker Stevie Nicks checked in to rehab in the 1980s shortly after writing a song about tragic actress Mabel Normand, who lost her life to drugs.

The Fleetwood Mac star admits her own lyrics made her realise that she was walking the same road as the 1920s star.

She tells Billboard, "Mabel was an amazing actress and comedian from the '20s, and she was a terrible cocaine addict. She eventually died of tuberculosis, but it was really her drug addiction that killed her.

"She was in love with a famous director, who tried to get her off coke, and he was murdered. Rumour has it, drug dealers killed him. I saw a documentary of her in 1985, when I was at my lowest point with the blow (cocaine). I was watching Tv one night, the movie came on, and I really felt a connection with her. That's when I wrote the song. Less than a year later, I went to rehab at Betty Ford.

"The documentary really scared me, because I saw this beautiful girl go downhill so fast. Sometimes you can't see it in yourself, but you sure as heck can see it in someone else."

Nicks' forgotten 1985 tribute to the late actress, titled Mable Normand, will feature on her new solo album 24 Karat Gold - Songs From The Vault.