The Chicks, formerly the Dixie Chicks, are one of the most important groups in modern country music, and one of the most controversial. The group formed in 1989 in Dallas as a traditional bluegrass group, consisting of four women, including multi-instrumentalists Martie and Emily Erwin, who would remain core members. They released a string of independent albums, but it wasn't until they lost two founding members and brought in Natalie Maines in 1995 that they began to define the blend of traditional and contemporary country that would launch them to commercial success. Their major label debut album, 1998's 'Wide Open Spaces,' placed several hit singles including "I Can Love You Better," the title track, "You Were Mine" and "There's Your Trouble," and sold 12 million copies, catapulting the group to instant stardom and critical acclaim. 1999's 'Fly' debuted at No. 1 and spawned more hits with "Ready to Run", "Cowboy Take Me Away", "Goodbye Earl" and "Some Days You Gotta Dance," selling 10 million copies and solidifying their position as one of country's leading acts. The group released 'Home' in 2002, returning more to their bluegrass roots for the album, scoring another hit with its lead single, "Long Time Gone." In March of 2003, during a concert in London during the run-up the America's invasion of Iraq in the wake of 9/11, Maines uttered the now-infamous words that would change the Chicks' career forever, saying, "Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." The comment caused an enormous backlash, prompting radio stations to drop the Dixie Chicks across the board, while fans held gatherings to burn their CDs. They received death threats on their subsequent Top of the World Tour, and engaged in very public feuds with Toby Keith and Reba McEntire. The trio came out swinging with the first single from their next album, 2006's 'Taking the Long Way,' titled "Not Ready to Make Nice." The new album debuted at No. 1 and become one of the biggest successes of the year despite very little support from radio, and the Chicks undertook a tour that was successful despite smaller crowds than past tours. They won Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year at the 2007 Grammy Awards, but the record was followed by a long hiatus during which Maines recorded a solo album, while the other members formed a duo called Court Yard Hounds. The Chicks toured with the Eagles in 2010, and announced their first full tour in years in 2013. The Long Time Gone Tour focused on Canada and overseas markets, but in 2016 Chicks fans in America finally got their wish when the trio announced their DCX MMXVI World Tour, which included a full North American leg with a slate of U.S. dates.
- Band Members: Natalie Maines, Martie McGuire, Emily Robison.
- Formed: 1989 in Dallas, Texas
- Top Songs: “Cowboy Take Me Away,” “Wide Open Spaces,” “There’s Your Trouble.”
- Did You Know? The band took its name from the Lowell George song “Dixie Chicken.”