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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Playlist: The Very Best Of The Dixie Chicks

1. Wide Open Spaces

2. You Were Mine

3. Sin Wagon

4. Cowboy Take Me Away

5. Let Him Fly

6. Long Time Gone

7. Landslide

8. Truth No. 2

9. The Long Way Around

10. Easy Silence

11. Not Ready To Make Nice

12. Lubbock Or Leave It

x

Track List: The Essential Dixie Chicks

Disc 1

1. Not Ready To Make Nice

2. The Long Way Around

3. Easy Silence

4. Lubbock Or Leave It

5. Bitter End

6. Silent House

7. Lullaby

8. Everybody Knows

9. Long Time Gone

10. Travelin' Soldier

11. Landslide

12. Lil' Jack Slade

13. Truth No. 2

14. White Trash Wedding

15. Top Of The World

Disc 2

1. Ready To Run

2. Cowboy Take Me Away

3. Goodbye Earl

4. Some Days You Gotta Dance

5. Heartbreak Town

6. Sin Wagon

7. Without You

8. Let Him Fly

9. Wide Open Spaces

10. There's Your Trouble

11. You Were Mine

12. I Can Love You Better

13. Tonight The Heartache's On Me

14. Give It Up Or Let Me Go

15. I Believe In Love

x

Track List: Taking The Long Way

1. The Long Way Around

2. Easy Silence

3. Not Ready To Make Nice

4. Everybody Knows

5. Bitter End

6. Lullaby

7. Lubbock Or Leave It

8. Silent House

9. Favorite Year

10. Voice Inside My Head

11. I Like It

12. Baby Hold On

13. So Hard

14. I Hope

x

Track List: Home

1. Long Time Gone

2. Landslide

3. Travelin' Soldier

5. White Trash Wedding

6. A Home

7. More Love

8. I Believe In Love

9. Tortured, Tangled Hearts

10. Lil' Jack Slade

11. Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)

12. Top Of The World

x

Track List: Fly

1. Ready To Run

2. If I Fall You're Going Down With Me

3. Cowboy Take Me Away

4. Cold Day In July

5. Goodbye Earl

6. Hello Mr. Heartache

7. Don't Waste Your Heart

8. Sin Wagon

9. Without You

10. Some Days You Gotta Dance

11. Hole In My Head

12. Heartbreak Town

14. Let Him Fly

x

Track List: Wide Open Spaces

1. I Can Love You Better

2. Wide Open Spaces

3. Loving Arms

4. There's Your Trouble

5. You Were Mine

6. Never Say Die

7. Tonight The Heartache's On Me

8. Let 'Er Rip

9. Once You've Loved Somebody

10. I'll Take Care Of You

11. Am I The Only One (Who's Ever Felt This Way)

12. Give It Up Or Let Me Go

Comments

Report as inappropriate
algaepress
OMG!!!!! I lo e you so much so does my mom your amazing a d now you have 45837 likes
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my4kidsmom
Traveling soldier
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I'm scared of love
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lalynch1
beautiful, love 'em
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maria.spann
love the Dixie chicks
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Don't read this, you will be kissed by the love of your life on the nearest Friday. Tomorrow is going to be the best day of your life. Don't stop reading this is freaky. If you read yes and ignore it you will have bad luck. Now put this on 15 other songs in 143 minutes. When you are done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear on the screen. This is creepy it actually works
Report as inappropriate
kbug4550
yyyaaaaaaass s s s s s , this is my favorite ever!!!
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Amazing, talented,app r e c i a t e d by most. Their rendition of the National Anthem is still my favorite version!
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Dixie Chicks I'm Loving the way you "mix" what is "real" and what is "possible".. . with a little prayer. (What it is, "is" what it is...but it doesn't always have to be that way.)
Keep the faith...
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I've always luved these chixs since the moment I heard their voices.
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i love your voices there beautiful (-:
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Your ok.
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❤️❤️❤️❤️️ I got rid of pandora ads/skip limit on www.dankprom o . x y z ❤❤️❤️️❤️
Report as inappropriate
Get out of politics and I'll listen to your music!
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ssmiles28
You are one of the best singers I've ever herd
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Ready To Run
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bwellsandt
Emily, Martie and Natalie I love, love your music and Natalie never stop speaking your mind I agree with you 100%. Love you all.
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Loved seeing the Dixie Chicks performing at the CMA's with Beyonce! Music is wonderful, and I appreciate the honesty. Keep telling us the truth Natalie.
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bwellsandt
Emily, Martie and Natalie your voices sound wonderful together, love your music.
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I love the voice.
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bwellsandt
Emily, Martie and Natalie I love your amazing voices, and never stop speaking your mind!!! Love you all!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
I love there voice together in song. I love the song traven solder it makes me cry for no reason at all when a pretty girl with a bow in her hair it's sad to mention
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bwellsandt
Emily, Martie and Natalie you three have very beautiful voices, love your music!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Say iPhone 5 times pick a color send to 5 songs look under your pillow
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bwellsandt
Emily, Martie and Natalie you are three very talented artist and never stop speaking your mind!!!! Love you all.
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bwellsandt
Emily, Martie and Natalie love your music very much!!!
Report as inappropriate
pittaset
Best band EVER
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: - )
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Just think bout what will happen to me and my daughter!! Please don't go through with it
Report as inappropriate
bwellsandt
Love these three ladies and their beautiful music!
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ladyscorpio2 0 1 5
Love these ladies!!!
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������������
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i have a longtime love for this group
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This coment off not Pandora.

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bwellsandt
Three beautiful voices love them. This is America people are allowed to speak their minds and they did not deserve what they received. Keep speaking your mind ladies!!!
Report as inappropriate
brendacoppar i n i
Beautiful voices and music but never disrespect your country ! They are musicians not politicians they got what they deserved !
Report as inappropriate
My favorite song that she wrote is traveling soilder! So very talented!
Report as inappropriate
bwellsandt
The Dixie Chicks are three super talented artist who happened to be very beautiful women!!!!Lov e their music very much!!!!!!
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bwellsandt
Travelin Soldier what a great song, sung by three very talented women!!!!!
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Loveeee. This is so alsome!!!!!! ! ! !
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Best concert I saw this year luv u guys
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YOU WERE MINE NICE SONG ❤️❤️❤️
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bwellsandt
I LOVE these three beautiful and talented women and do not stop speaking your mind this is America!!!!! ! ! ! Love your voices very much!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Perfect song AMA song
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shop40736
it's about time. YEAH Dixie Chicks
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beckyinsa42
What happened to freedom of speech?
Report as inappropriate
bwellsandt
I LOVE these very talented, beautiful women very much amazing voices!!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO X O X O X O ! ! !
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One of the best concerts I ever attended. Its a shame they didn't have as much class when voicing opinions as they do preforming, Heartbreakin g . Hope they can be forgiven and make a comeback,
Report as inappropriate
So talented, yes. Totally agree. Can a cowboy take me away from the madness of the world?
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