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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


I love da Dixie chicks they da best��������
Good bye Earl
Would be a cool place to be if the Chicks were there!!!
they should be dropped off on an island with susan sarandon ,alex baldwin etc.
The Dixie Chicks never failed to fill a stadium! They could do the same today, they have great fans! All politicians stink and they always will!!
lother58--I suspect their politics made them any less talented. They are still really talented. It was their audience that was the problem, not their politics and guess what? How many years later proved that Natalie Maines was fairly correct in her assessment of the war and GWB.
sometimes its best to leave your politics at home,they were so talented
I love this damn song
Amazing inspiring��
howlingdogde s i g n
Dixie Chicks will always be my favorite country band.
regina.l.rol l i n s
~:::::: THE ::: DIXIE ::: CHICKS ::::::~
~::::::: BEAUTIFUL :: PEOPLE :::::::~
I love your. Singing and I'm going to see you on a bend c
She was right in 2003 and still is.
I hope they make a new album soon... it's been way too long!
I Love Taylor Swift!! (; Follow Me? •,•
Love this song... it got me through a lot... love the band.... love the song♥
beautiful music and voices... still love them years later..
Takes alot of courage to admit your part of doing wrong , i know my heart and mind better than you do now its time to move on... . this songs for you
Travlin Soldier...Re p e a t , , I ' m begging...
Gonna be
Reading through some of the comments here, I am so glad the Chicks spoke their mind on a tragic senseless war costing us money & treasure. Keep up the good work both on & off the stage.
Love these girls who continue w/ their down home, refined bluegrass. Awesome!
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed by the love of life on the nearest Friday. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. But if you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you have so don't stop. Put this on at lest 5 songs on 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on screen in big letters this is scary but it actually works!
The Chicks have skills, love the music they play!
Dont read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on atleast 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lover's name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
At least her comments were short and to the point, which is better than having to listen to Green Day use an entire awful album to complain about President Bush.
Most people do care and applaud her for saying what she did! Not everyone shares your opinion! What she said is true!
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed by the love of your life on the nearest possible Friday. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. But if you don't post this you will die in two days. Now you have started reading so don't stop. Put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters this is scary but it actually works!
It teaches people that are famous to shut there mouth. We dont care for there opinion on politics
They are a great country music band! They are also really sweet people. Really cool chicks!
Everyone should beable to speak their peace. That is what America is about. The Dixie Chicks are great performers.
cool car!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Her comments had nothing to do with the brave soldiers! Just like with Vietnam, you can protest the war without being against the boys fighting! It is THEIR lives that we are protesting for! 1st amendment! freedom of speech! right to your own opinion! This band is the best ever and yes maybe she shouldn't have said things so publicly, but big mistake to ru them out!!! Look at some of our presidents!! ! come on now!!
I loooove the Dixie Chicks... Such amazing country singers....
coutry group
Yes, the cost of war is lost lives! Is the reason for war as high as the cost of a life? The government has a different opinion than I do!
Think of the soldiers who died in war and who died for there family's and who died in the war and who fight for there country help the soldiers in war and the soldiers family's who husband or dad or son died in the war and the soldiers who were so brave fighting for there country and who died in the war and who died for there country and who were so brave to risk getting hurt for there country:( :( :( :( :(
suzan_philli p s
I LOVE This sing
War is never good for the people! Natalie Maines made alot of people mad! What she said was very true!! .... toby stinks ...
dolphiness63 8
one of them made Toby Keith and everyone else it's nadallie maines
You guess are cool that I want to meet you in person
i wish i cold meet the dixie chicks
Love you dixie chicks
Don't read this because it acully works. U will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of ur life. Tomorrow will be the best day of ur life. However if u do post this on 5 songs u will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading u can't stop. This is scary put this on 5 songs and ur lovers name will come on ur screen on big letters. This is scary because it works
You may not agree with everything Natalie has done. You may like her music or not. Natalie Maines is a good person and meant well. She is against war and the people who want it.
This song makes me thankful everyday that my soldier is home with me!
Everyone is entitled to there opinion, cowardly for Natalie to bash the President while out of the country. Still enjoy their older music.
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