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Dixie Chicks

Formed in 1989 as a Western-themed bluegrass band, the Dixie Chicks eventually became one of the most popular acts in contemporary country music, as well as the highest-selling female group in America. Beginning with 1998's Wide Open Spaces, they struck a balance between the commercial, radio-ready aesthetic of country-pop and the rootsy sound of neo-traditionalist country, a combination that helped distinguish the trio from such concurrent stars as Shania Twain. The Dixie Chicks further distanced themselves from country's conservative boundaries as their career progressed, although their outspoken beliefs -- specifically Natalie Maines' open criticism of the war in Iraq, which ignited a backlash in 2003 -- were sometimes voiced to the detriment of the band's sales. Nevertheless, the Dixie Chicks remained a compelling band in concert and on record, boasting three-part harmonies and an instrumental prowess that was virtually unparalleled among similar groups.

Sisters Martie and Emily Erwin were raised in Addison, Texas, a suburban town on the northern edge of Dallas. Both girls showed a talent for stringed instruments at an early age, with Martie mastering the fiddle and Emily learning the five-string banjo. Following their high-school graduation, the Erwins joined bassist Laura Lynch and guitarist Robin Lynn Macy to form the Dixie Chicks, whose name was modeled after the Little Feat song "Dixie Chicken." The group originally promoted a classic cowgirl image, wearing rhinestone-studded regalia and honing a mix of traditional country, folk, and bluegrass; the bandmembers even paid homage to Roy Rogers' cowgirl co-star/wife on their independent debut, 1990's Thank Heavens for Dale Evans. As the decade progressed, however, the group's image and sound became more contemporary, often bridging the gap between country and pop music.

The move toward a more contemporary sound began with 1992's Little Ol' Cowgirl, a transitional record whose new direction (aided in part by the contributions of several sidemen, including steel guitar legend Lloyd Maines) resulted in Macy's departure. With Lynch now handling lead vocals, the remaining trio resurfaced in 1993 with Shouldn't a Told You That. They signed with Sony's newly revived Monument imprint in 1995, but Lynch left the group shortly thereafter -- according to a December 10, 1998, feature in The Dallas Observer, both she and Macy were victims of the Erwins' desire to foster a more youthful image. Soon named as Lynch's replacement was 21-year-old lead vocalist Natalie Maines, Lloyd Maines' able-voiced daughter.

The lineup switch brought with it a new contemporary wardrobe and an equally modernized country sound; still, few predicted the massive success of the Dixie Chicks' 1998 major-label debut, Wide Open Spaces. After the leadoff single "I Can Love You Better" became the group's first Top Ten country hit, both "There's Your Trouble" and the winsome title track rose to the top of the Hot Country Songs chart. Wide Open Spaces went quadruple platinum within its first year and eventually became the best-selling group album in country music history, earning a slew of Grammy and CMA awards along the way. Fly followed in 1999, immediately returning the Dixie Chicks to the upper reaches of the country charts with the lead single "Ready to Run." Another smash hit was "Goodbye Earl," which spun the tale of an abusive husband who died at the hands of his vengeful wife. Although the lyrics owed a good deal to black comedy, "Goodbye Earl" (as well as another song, "Sin Wagon," whose lyrics touched upon Maines' desire to "do a little mattress dancing") proved that the Dixie Chicks didn't always adhere to the conservative ideals of their country fan base. This outspoken attitude initially contributed to their success, but Maines' future comments about President George W. Bush would plunge the band into controversy in later years.

The Dixie Chicks were now genuine superstars, and they joined the likes of Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Cher, and Celine Dion for the filming of VH1's Divas Show in 2002. Three months later, they were back in the game with the release of their sixth album, which eschewed the polished sound of the girls' recent work for a nostalgic, bluegrass-based style. Home marked the girls' first release on their own Sony imprint, Open Wide Records; it also gave them their first two Top Ten hits on the pop charts with "Long Time Gone" and "Landslide" (a stirring cover of the Fleetwood Mac original). Top of the World Tour: Live and its accompanying DVD arrived in 2003, capturing the band's strength as a live act.

However, the Top of the World Tour also marked a turning point for the band. On opening night in London, Natalie Maines spoke out against the Iraq War, stating that the girls were ashamed to share their home state with President Bush. Many American fans lashed out in response, and the Dixie Chicks watched as country radio boycotted their latest album. Released in 2006, Taking the Long Way dealt with that backlash (which included death threats, group protests, and a chilly reception at the 2003 ACM Awards) with songs like "Not Ready to Make Nice," which won three Grammy Awards and helped reestablish the group as a commercial force. The album itself netted an additional two Grammys, and "Not Ready to Make Nice" earned the Dixie Chicks their highest peak to date on the pop charts. Taking the Long Way only sold two million copies in America, though -- a commercial letdown compared to the band's three previous albums -- and the Dixie Chicks temporarily disappeared after the 2007 Grammy Awards.

For several years, things were quiet in the Dixie Chicks' camp. Sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire eventually formed a new band, the Court Yard Hounds, and began making plans for an album release and accompanying tour. In March 2010, however, the Dixie Chicks announced a string of summer concerts alongside the Eagles and Keith Urban, prompting the Court Yard Hounds to cancel their own tour. In September 2006, at the end of the frenzied media tour for the release of the Taking the Long Way album, the Dixie Chicks had recorded an intimate live set at the Los Angeles Theater as part of VH1’s Storytellers series, and the performance was finally released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2011, further illustrating the trio’s strength as a live act. ~ Andrew Leahey & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

BEST BAND plus BEST SONG= HAPPINESS
I LOVE THIS SONG SO much it reminds me of so much I my life and please follow me for a follow back please :)
I like how they play the fiddle, banjo, guitar. Good music and cool songs!
I have been listing to The Dixie Chicks since I was a little girl.
terrymoore19 7 8
i hate the freakin goverment!!! !
terrymoore19 7 8
i love u guys! thank u soldiers!!!
Ok
I love the Dixie Chicks!!!!!!
firstbasecre v
Really need to reunite and make another record!
mandiehman
I love this song
1 kiss your hand 2 say your crush's name 3 close your hand 4 pick a day at school 5 say your name 6 post this on 15 more songs and on the day you picked your crush will ask you out
LOVE!!!!!!!! ! ! ! t h i s song
randy lit the fire then came the Dixie chicks who pour the gasoline and we got todays country.
I absolutely love them!!!!
Hey, we voted for the Chicks, and I still listen to them everyday! Who listens to radio or stinky politicians?
barryb95
Please come back
This
jtthompsonmu r
I (we) loved the Chicks too as most country fans did. They had a right to speak their minds and fans have a right to speak theirs and to vote with their pocketbook. Sad that politics and music mixed. We all lost a great group and great songs being played. It felt like it did when Garth pulled out. Hope all works out.
Love Dixie chick
Brittany hello
Love her voice with really good riythm. Great backing:o))
Cowboy take me away
Fly this girl as high as you can into the wild blue
Set me free
Oh,I pray
Closer to heaven above and closer to you
Closer to you
Love the Dixie Chicks and Bush does suck!!!!!!
mpadilla962
I still like the Dixie Chicks!
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your live. Tomorrow will be the best day of your live. However if you don't repost this you will die in the next 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in BIG letters this is so scary cud it actually works
These skanks were right to rip Bush.
'Truth no. 2' ~ luv that song!
The Dixie Chicks are Americans like us! Politicians suck, and they always will!
Just made this station called dixie chicks and this is the first song i love this station and this sonf
deborah.chap m a n 9
I miss hearing the Dixie Chicks! Love this song!
ashton.thurn a l l 0 4
The song is good
We all as Americans have a right to voice our opinions, however we must understand that not everyone will agree with our opinions. Now as country music artists, they should have known that a great many of their fans were Republicans and behind President George Bush during that time. Their words offended a lot of country music fans and they reacted accordingly. They lost their popularity as a result of their words. I loved the Dixie Chicks and hate it happened. Consequences of their words...
This is to Nick(:
kblcowboy
Looking back now Natalie was right on track about our President and policies on the war. It's a shame that her career had to be sacrificed for her freedom of speech.
kblcowboy
The songs and music of the Dixie Chicks are the best thing to ever happen to country music.
This is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard,
gailf85
Love the Dixie Chicks! Please make more music.
Say ur name 10 times
Say ur Moms name 5 times
Say ur crushes name 3 times
Put this on 4 other songs and ur crush will ask you out
Beautiful music, luv these girls!
I love this song and it's sad my brother is in the navy so I wish he could come home.
they need to just sing and if they have something to say, say it, don't act like you're the spokesman for this Country!!!!!
Love Dixie!!! <3
♡ such a feel good song
Such n awesome love song!!
tombrown6998
NM was proven right in her beliefs and should be congratulate d and admired for speaking here mind in the face of public hatred. Well done Ms Maines. It takes as much courage to speak the truth as to walk into combat.
Love these ladies and there music.... I'm just an old country chick from FL ;) #Talent
wkaellis
Love love them! Wish they would come back! Agree with the comment about their documentary. It was great!
I love the chick's they are amazing! !!!
kc.guidi1195
Say ur name 10 times
Say ur moms name 5 times
say ur crushes name 3 times
Put this on 4 other songs and you crush will ask you out
Show more

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