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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: 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: Top Of The World - Live

Disc 1

1. Goodbye Earl (Live)

2. Some Days You Gotta Dance (Live)

3. There's Your Trouble (Live)

4. Long Time Gone (Live)

5. Tortured, Tangled Hearts (Live)

6. Travelin' Soldier (Live)

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

8. Hello Mr. Heartache (Live)

9. Cold Day In July (Live)

10. White Trash Wedding (Live)

11. Lil' Jack Slade (Live)

Disc 2

1. A Home (Live)

2. Truth No. 2 (Live)

3. If I Fall You're Going Down With Me (Live)

4. Mississippi (Live)

5. Cowboy Take Me Away (Live)

6. Godspeed (Sweet Dreams) (Live)

7. Landslide (Live)

8. Ready To Run (Live)

9. Wide Open Spaces (Live)

10. Top Of The World (Live)

11. Sin Wagon (Live)

x

Track List: Home

1. Long Time Gone

2. Landslide

3. Travelin' Soldier

4. Truth No.2

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

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Angel gal I think your baby boy is very important to you
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Love this song it remind of my husband
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Calgon take me away
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arrowdave6
The Dixie chick's are so yesterday and yesterday they sucked.
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Rebecca, that goes for while you are on active duty or active reserve. If he has retired or otherwise separated from the military, he has the right to say what he wants. If this were said about Obama, you probably wouldn't even pipe up. Move to Europe? Why, because he exercises his right to free speech, which he, and supposedly you, served to protect?
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Limdseia
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I grew up too Dixie chicks
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Excited to see them on June 17th!!
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msg20026
redhedplus+
The tour comes to USA June 1 and ends October 10.
I go August 27.
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fancylea614
qasfjkjdshpk d w g k g s j s m a b f d k d j f s h q u j l l p k d e q f g f k f s m d d g m s f j p g w j e j d g h a h a g a f d j e g w g s g n a h g s s f g g w h d g d w w s s q q q q q w w w w q q q q q d h j d f b s k d j
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nate5840
The people who protested the Dixie Chicks are same ones who complain the most about our current president and the state of our country. They are doing exactly what Natalie did.
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I love you Dixie chicks
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I, too, am a veteran and saw your post, rrier240, right before I changed this station. You do NOT say you are ashamed of your country OR your Commander in Chief in any situation. Do you not remember the most basic of your general orders, sir? Move to Europe, we don't need you.
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In response to dmcpherson33 9 post. I am a veteran who fought for their right of freedom of speech. I am so proud that a female band had the balls to express their opinion about President Bush and the war whether you or I agree with it or not. I am truly ashamed of how the American people treated these women whose only crime was to have an opinion.
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I'm gonna record a demo
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Never speak bad about America
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msg: when is this tour? love to see them!!
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msg20026
I am going to see them this summer while they are on the DCX MMXVI Tour
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The Dixie chicks are better than anything
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Ur awesome
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rsauro5
Love Dixie chicks
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I love this song
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Chixie Dicks
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They sang at The Ho-Down in Detroit when they first started out. I remember the crowd going silent when they came on stage. Miss their music.
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Love me some chicks
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I just love them so talented don't loose me jethro
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Yea!!! Ready for 2016 Tour
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Hello everyone War Veteran hear saying Wuz Up All there on Pandora Yo
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Dixie Chick's are My Singer's Yo
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You
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R.I.P. My sweetheart baby boy always here in my heart.
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forgottenspr i n k l e s
Omg thumper it actually works ty soooooooo much
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lvillar3
Why can't artists leave their politics out of it and just sing?
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kvancas7
new tour? call it the I told you so tour!! ( about bush and Iraq)!!!
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Report as inappropriate
I've never had never heard that
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D
Di
Dix
Dixi
Dixie
Dixie C
Dixie Ch
Dixie Chi
Dixie Chic
Dixie Chick
Dixie Chicks
Dixie Chick
Dixie Chic
Dixie Chi
Dixie Ch
Dixie C
Dixie
Dixi
Dix
Di
D
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I love the Dixie chicks!
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infor77
Wish they would come out with a new album
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You all believe this stuff lol
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#safteykitty
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This song brings me to tears every time :'(
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can't wait for the world tour!!! 6/25/16!!!
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micaela.boet t c h e r
Why do people comment Song of Solomen?? whats that mean???????
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I love the Dixie Chicks. I think Natalie has the best voice and wish I could hear more of her!
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ndbruce3591
I love you Emily
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Chicks with Dicks...can' t stand 'em
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but they did not put down the soldiers, don't know how it got so misconstrued they said they opposed the war and ashamed bush was from Texas. lol A lot of people felt the same way to bad they got boycotted for it. timing might be every thing but they are still an amazing fun group and I barely even like country music!
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clubmad
I like those one's I pick better these hehehehe....
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Dixie Chicks, nuff said!
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