PROFILE
Name:
Dixie Chicks
Birth Date:
1989
Birth Place:
Dallas, Texas, USA
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
Their single I Can Love You Better (1997)
BIOGRAPHY
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Wide Open Spaces

Background:

"We'd rather be the rock stars of country than the lame-as*** of rock." Dixie Chicks

Multiple Grammy Award winning all-female country band “Dixie Chicks” was originally a quartet when the band was formed in 1989. In 1995 they became a trio when two members left and vocalist Natalie Maines joined multi-instrumentalist sisters Martie Erwin (Martie Maguire) and Emily Erwin (Emily Robison). The three women have since released the multi-platinum albums "Wide Open Spaces" (1998), "Fly" (1999), "Home" (2002), and "Taking the Long Way" (2006), as well as the gold-certified live album "Top of the World Tour: Live" (2003). These critically acclaimed albums have spawned such hit singles as "There's Your Trouble" (1998), "Wide Open Spaces" (1998), "You Were Mine" (1999), "Cowboy Take Me Away" (1999), "Without You" (2000), and "Travelin' Soldier" (2003).

Hailing from Texas, the “Dixie Chicks” are known for their controversial public comments, most notably their vocalist Natalie Maines' remarks to U.S. President George W. Bush during a sold out crowd in London, England, where she said, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

As of May 2008, the ladies have sold over 36 million albums and won thirteen Grammy Awards.


Texas Band

Childhood and Family:

In 1989 in Dallas, Texas, lead singer/bassist Laura Lynch, guitarist Robin Lynn Macy, and multi-instrumentalist sisters Martie Erwin (born on October 12, 1969) and Emily Erwin (born on August 16, 1972) formed the band "Dixie Chicks," which was inspired by the song "Dixie Chicken" by Lowell George of the country rock group "Little Feat." Laura Lynch and Robin Lynn Macy later left the band and Natalie Maines (born on October 14, 1974) joined the band at the end of 1995.


Taking the Long Way

Career:

One year after their formation, “Dixie Chicks” independently released their debut album, "Thank Heavens for Dale Evans" (1990), named after the multi-talented female performer Dale Evans. At the end of the year, the quartet released a Christmas single, "Home on the Radar Range.” They also performed at the Grand Ole Opry and on Garrison Keillor's radio show on NPR, “A Prairie Home Companion.”

After winning the prize for "Best Band" at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and becoming an opening act for such country music artists as Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, and George Strait, the girls began building a fan base. They soon released a second independent album, "Little Ol' Cowgirl," in 1992. Similar to their previous album, this album did not produce any chart singles.

After Robin Lynn Macy left in late 1992, the "Dixie Chicks" released their third and final album for the Crystal Clear Sound label, "Shouldn't a Told You That" (1993). The band replaced Lynch with singer-songwriter Natalie Maines, the daughter of former “Chicks”' session player Lloyd Maines. Maines played guitar and sang lead vocals with Martie (Erwin) Siedel and Emily singing backup vocals.

"It's very rootsy, but then Natalie [Maines] comes in with a rock and blues influence. That gave Emily and I a chance to branch out, because we loved those kinds of music but felt limited by our instruments." Martie Maguire

The following year, the band was signed with Sony's newly reactivated Monument Records label. In October 1997, they released a single, "I Can Love You Better," which rose to the Top 10 on the American country music charts. It was followed by the release of their fourth album, "Wide Open Spaces," on January 27, 1998. The album, their first record with new lead vocalist Natalie Maines, proved to be their breakthrough commercial success. It was certified diamond status by RIAA on February 20, 2003, in the U.S. for selling 12 million copies. It also spent more than six years on the Australian ARIA music charts Country Top 20. Besides "I Can Love You Better," "Wide Open Spaces" also contained the hit singles: "There's Your Trouble," "Wide Open Spaces," "Let 'Er Rip," "Tonight the Heartache's on Me," and "You Were Mine." The album also won the "Dixie Chicks" two Grammy Awards, one for Best Country Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal for the song "There's Your Trouble," and Best Country Album.

They followed it up with the release of another hit album, "Fly," on August 31, 1999. The album was very successful, debuting and peaking at #1 on the Billboard 200. It also received diamond status from RIAA on June 25, 2002. Released as singles were the tracks "Ready to Run," "Cowboy Take Me Away," "Goodbye Earl," "Cold Day in July,” "Heartbreak Town," "Some Days You Gotta Dance" and "If I Fall You're Going Down with Me." The song "Sin Wagon" also charted although it wasn't officially released. The album won Best Country Album and Best Country Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal (for the song "Ready to Run") at the 2000 Grammy Awards. Following their success, "Dixie Chicks" headlined their first tour, the "Fly Tour," with guest artists like Joe Ely, Ricky Skaggs, Sarah McLaughlin, Sheryl Crow, and other female artists on the all-woman tour "Lilith Fair."

Following their commercial success, "Dixie Chicks" became involved in a dispute with Sony, but eventually settled their suit privately and were awarded their own record label imprint, "Open Wide Records," with Sony still responsible for marketing and distribution of albums. Martie Maguire commented, "I don't think any of us ever trusted Nashville. When you're in that town you know everybody is talking about everybody else. Everybody is wishing for the other guy to fail."

On August 27, 2002, "Dixie Chicks" released their sixth studio album, "Home." It spun off the singles "Landslide," "Long Time Gone," "Tortured, Tangled Hearts," "Travelin' Soldier," "White Trash Wedding," and "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)." The album's third single, "Travelin' Soldier," was #1 on the Billboard Country Chart, but the song subsequently collapsed after Maines made bitter comments about U.S. President George W. Bush and many stations began boycotting their songs. After the band suffered a severe backlash, Maines released a public apology to Bush stating, "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect."

Despite the political controversy, the album was certified 6× multi-platinum status by RIAA and found success in Australia, where it was certified triple platinum. It also won the "Dixie Chicks" five Grammy Awards: one for Best Country Album, Best Recording Package, Best Country Instrumental Performance (for the song "Lil' Jack Slade"), and two Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (for the songs "Long Time Gone" and "Top of the World").

Meanwhile, the "Dixie Chicks" were featured on two television specials, "An Evening with the Dixie Chicks" and a CMT three hour television special, the "40 Greatest Women of Country Music." They also released their first live album, "Top of the World Tour: Live" on November 25, 2003, which records their successful concert tour of the same name.

On September 2005, the women released the charity single "I Hope," which received its debut performance on the “Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast” telethon on September 9, 2005, and was later made available as a digital download single with proceeds benefitting the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

They subsequently released the single "Not Ready to Make Nice" on March 16, 2006, in advance of their seventh album, "Taking the Long Way." Released on May 23, 2006, the album debuted at #1 on both the United World Chart and the Billboard 200. It sold over 2 million copies in the U.S. and was certified 2x platinum by RIAA on July 11, 2007. The album that also yielded the singles "Everybody Knows" and "The Long Way Around" and won the 49th Grammy Awards' Album of the Year and Best Country Album, as well as Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the single "Not Ready to Make Nice." The single "I Hope" was also nominated for the 48th Grammy Award in two categories (Best Country Song and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal), but lost both awards.

In a part of her acceptance speech at the Grammys in 2007, Robison stated, “We wouldn't have made this album without everything we went through, so we have no regrets.”

While Maines said, “I think people are using their freedom of speech tonight with all of these awards.”

In July 2006, the group began their "Accidents & Accusations Tour.” That same year, the "Dixie Chicks" also starred in the documentary film "Shut Up and Sing," produced and directed by Academy Award winning director Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck (daughter of famed actor Gregory Peck).


Awards:

  • Grammy: Album of the Year, “Taking the Long Way,” 2007

  • Grammy: Song of the Year, "Not Ready to Make Nice," 2007

  • Grammy: Record of the Year, "Not Ready to Make Nice," 2007

  • Grammy: Best Country Album, “Taking the Long Way,” 2007

  • Grammy: Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, "Not Ready to Make Nice," 2007

  • Juno: International Album of the Year, “Taking the Long Way,” 2007

  • Grammy: Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, "Top Of The World," 2005

  • Grammy: Best Country Album, “Home,” 2003

  • Grammy: Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, "Long Time Gone," 2003

  • Grammy: Best Country Instrumental Performance, "Lil' Jack Slade," 2003

  • American Music Awards: Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group, 2003

  • American Music Awards: Favorite Country Album, “Home,” 2003

  • American Music Awards: Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group, 2001

  • Country Music Association: Vocal Group of the Year, 2002

  • Country Music Association Flameworthy: Video Visionary Award, 2002

  • People's Choice: Favorite Musical Group or Band, 2002

  • Grammy: Best Country Album, “Fly,” 2000

  • Grammy: Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, "Ready to Run," 2000

  • Country Music Association: Album of the Year, “Fly,” 2000

  • Country Music Association: Entertainer of the Year, 2000

  • Country Music Association: Vocal Group of the Year, 2000

  • Country Music Association: Music Video of the Year, "Goodbye Earl," 2000

  • Billboard Music: Country Artist of the Year, 2000

  • Billboard Music: Country Albums Artist of the Year, 2000

  • Billboard Music: Country Artist Duo Group of the Year, 2000

  • Billboard Music: Country Album of the Year, “Fly,” 2000

  • Grammy: Best Country Album, “Wide Open Spaces,” 1999

  • Grammy: Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, "There's Your Trouble," 1999

  • American Music Awards: Favorite New Country Artist, 1999

  • Billboard Music: Country Artist of the Year, 1999

  • Billboard Music: Country Album Artist of the Year, 1999

  • Billboard Music: Country Album Artist Duo/Group of the Year, 1999

  • Country Music Association: Single of the Year, "Wide Open Spaces," 1999

  • Country Music Association: Vocal Group of the Year, 1999

  • Country Music Association: Music Video of the Year, "Wide Open Spaces." 1999

  • Country Music Association: Horizon Award, 1998

  • Country Music Association: Vocal Group of the Year, 1998

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