- Dixie Chicks are an American music group
- It'scomposed of founding members (and sisters) Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Erwin Robison, and lead singer Natalie Maines
|How old is Dixie Chicks in 2020? ||31 years|
|Where was Dixie Chicks founded?||Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.|
Net worth 2020 (estimated)
|How much is Dixie Chicks worth?||$21,000,000|
What is Dixie Chicks? / Facts
- Original bluegrass group - The Dixie Chicks were founded by Laura Lynch on upright bass, guitarist Robin Lynn Macy, and the multi-instrumentalist sisters Martie and Emily Erwin in 1989.
The Erwin sisters have since married and changed their names to Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, then Strayer.
The four took their band name from the song and album Dixie Chicken by Lowell George of Little Feat, originally playing predominantly bluegrass and a mix of country standards.
All four women played and sang, though Maguire and Robison provided most of the instrumental accompaniment for the band while Lynch and Macy shared lead vocals.
In 1990, the Dixie Chicks recorded their first studio album thanks to the generosity of Penny Cook, daughter of then Senator John Tower, who wrote them a check for $10,000.
The album was named Thank Heavens for Dale Evans, after the pioneering, multi-talented performer Dale Evans.
They paid $5,000 for the 14-track album.
The Dixie Chicks began building up a fan base, winning the prize for "best band" at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and opening for established country music artists.
In 1992, a second independent album, Little Ol' Cowgirl, moved towards a more contemporary country sound. Robin Lynn Macy was not pleased with their change in sound, however, so she left in late 1992 to devote herself to a "purer" bluegrass sound.
It was during this period that professional steel guitarist Lloyd Maines (who had played on both albums) introduced them to his daughter, Natalie Maines, an aspiring singer.
Lynch, having the role of sole lead singer on their third independent album, Shouldn't a Told You That in 1993, was unable to attract support from a major record label.
New manager Simon Renshaw approached music executive Scott Siman and he signed them to a developmental deal with Sony Music Entertainment's Nashville division, finalized over the summer of 1995. The Chicks then replaced Lynch with singer Maines.
- Revamped group - With the addition of Natalie Maines in 1995, the group developed a more contemporary sound, as well as a new look, giving the band a broader appeal.
Within the next year, Sony committed to sign them to a long-term deal and they were selected as the first new artist on the newly revived Monument Records label.
A single "I Can Love You Better" was released in October 1997, and reached the Top 10 on American country music charts, while the new lineup recorded the rest of their debut album.
Wide Open Spaces was released on January 23, 1998. Over the space of a year, the next three singles from Wide Open Spaces reached first place on the Country charts: "There's Your Trouble", "You Were Mine", and the title track. This first album entered the top five on both country and pop charts with initial sales of 12 million copies in the country music arena alone, setting a record for the best-selling duo or group album in country music history.
As of 2003, the 12 million copies sold in the United States of Wide Open Spaces made it a RIAA-certified diamond album.
In 1998, the Dixie Chicks sold more CDs than all other country music groups combined. Big Country music took note of the Chicks, awarding them the Horizon Award for new artists in 1998. By 1999, the album won the first Grammy Awards as well as acclaim from the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, and other high-profile awards.
In August, 1999, the Dixie Chicks released another album, Fly, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, selling over 10 million copies and making the Dixie Chicks the only country band and the only female band of any genre to hold the distinction of having two back-to-back RIAA certified diamond albums.
Dixie Chicks albums have continued to place in the list of the 50 best-selling albums in American history over a half-decade after they were released.
Fly again won Grammy awards and honors from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, and the Dixie Chicks received a number of honors from other sources for their accomplishments.
The band had their first tour, the Fly Tour, and also joined Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and other female artists on the all-woman touring Lilith Fair.
The source of the Dixie Chicks' commercial success during this time came from various factors: they wrote or co-wrote about half of the songs on Wide Open Spaces and Fly; their mixture of bluegrass, mainstream country music, blues, and pop songs appealed to a wide spectrum of record buyers, and where the women had once dressed as "cowgirls" with Lynch, their dress was now more contemporary.
- Songs under controversy - Some of their songs brought controversy within their conservative country music fan base, and two songs caused some radio stations to remove the Chicks from their playlists: "Sin Wagon", from which the term "mattress dancing" takes on a new twist, and "Goodbye Earl", a song that uses black comedy in telling the story of the unabashed murderer of an abusive husband.
- Record label dispute - After the commercial success of their first two albums, the band became involved in a dispute with their record label, Sony, regarding accounting procedures, alleging that in at least 30 cases Sony had used fraudulent accounting practices, underpaying them at least $4 million in royalties on their albums over the previous 3 years.
The group walked away, with Sony suing the group for failure to complete their contract. The Chicks responded with their own $4.1-million lawsuit against Sony Music Entertainment.
After negotiation, the Chicks settled their suit privately, and were awarded their own record label imprint, Open Wide Records, which afforded them more control, a better contract, and an increase in royalty money, with Sony still responsible for marketing and distribution of albums.
During the time that they worked with Sony to reconcile their differences, the Dixie Chicks debuted their quiet, unadorned song "I Believe in Love" on the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
- Independent albums - A new album, released in August, 2002. named Home, was independently produced by Lloyd Maines and the Chicks.
It also won Grammy awards, and other noteworthy accolades as before, though it fell short of reaching the diamond record status of the first two albums.
- Television specials - By 2002, the Dixie Chicks were featured on three television specials: An Evening with the Dixie Chicks - an acoustic concert primarily composed of the material from Home, VH1 Divas Las Vegas alongside Cher, Céline Dion, Shakira, Anastacia, Stevie Nicks, Mary J. Blige, Cyndi Lauper, Whitney Houston and host Ellen DeGeneres; and a CMT 3-hour television special, the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music, where the Chicks ranked no. 13 out of 40.
- Controversy around Iraq war comments - In March 2003, when the Dixie Chicks performed in concert in England, at the Shepherds Bush Empire theatre in London, Maines made a fateful remark that made news around the world.
On the eve of the invasion on Iraq, many Americans were gearing up to support the impending war while many others were opposing it.
In contrast, most Europeans thought the war was ill-conceived.
Many country music fans were upset, and considered this remark, its timing and its venue, to be virtually treasonous.
Natalie tried apologizing for her comment but to no avail.
Many country music stations banned all Dixie Chick music. Fans joined together to ceremoniously burn or crush their CDs. One conservative radio station sponsored an event where Dixie Chick CDs were run by a bulldozer.
Other country musicians stepped up to criticize the Chicks, notably Toby Keith and Reba McEntire.
The Chicks received numerous death threats, and the front gate of Emily Robison's home was smashed in.
Although the Chicks' ongoing concert tour proceeded without trouble, some music critics predicted the end of the Dixie Chicks' career.
In fall of 2004 they participated in the Vote for Change concert tour organized to encourage the defeat of George W. Bush in the U.S. presidential election.
- New album in light of Iraq war losing public support - In 2006 the Chicks began promoting their new album Taking the Long Way. By this time most Americans now had doubts about the wisdom of the Iraq War.
Maines withdrew her previous public apology.
The album's first single included the defiant lyrics "I'm not ready to make nice, I'm not ready to back down".
There were further public exchanges between the Chicks and their critics. Despite very limited play on country radio, Taking the Long Way debuted at #1 on Billboard's Country and overall Top 200 charts, namely at number one on both the U.S. pop albums chart and the U.S. country albums chart.
It sold 526,000 copies in the first week (the year's second-best such total for any country act), which made it a gold record within its first week, despite having little or no airplay in areas that had once embraced them. The Chicks became the first female band in chart history to have three albums debut at No. 1.
Their concert was sold out in Europe, and in Toronto 20,000 tickets were sold in 8 minutes.
However, large venues in the American South and in the Chicks' native Texas had to be re-scheduled apparently due to lagging ticket sales in the region that was once their home base.
In 2006, Taking the Long Way was the ninth best-selling album in the United States. At the 49th Grammy Awards Show on February 11, 2007, the group won all five categories for which they were nominated, including the top awards of Song of the Year and Record of the Year, both for "Not Ready to Make Nice", and Album of the Year, for Taking the Long Way.
Maines interpreted the wins as being a show of public support for their advocacy of free speech.
- A documentary about the years 2003-2006 - At the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, Cabin Creek Films, the production company of award-winning documentarian Barbara Kopple, premiered Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing, a documentary that follows the Chicks over the 3 years since the 2003 London concert remark, and covers aspects of their musical and personal lives in addition to the controversy.
- Court Yard Hounds - Following Shut Up and Sing, the band went on hiatus and spent time with their families until touring again in 2010 and 2013.
In January 2010 Maguire and Robison released new music without Maines.
Lloyd Maines, Natalie's father, has stated that the trio are "definitely still an entity".
On January 15, 2010, it was announced that the duo would be known as Court Yard Hounds and were set to release an album in May 2010 with Robison on lead vocals.
In March 2010, the Dixie Chicks announced they would be touring with the Eagles on the Eagles 2010 Summer Tour.
In March 2011, Maines made a solo recording of the Beach Boys hit "God Only Knows" for the final episode of the HBO series Big Love.
In October 2011, the Dixie Chicks played the Concert for Wildfire Relief in Austin, Texas.
In July 2013, the Court Yard Hounds also released their sophomore album, Amelita.
In August 2013, the Dixie Chicks announced their first full length tour since 2007, the Long Time Gone Tour through various cities across Canada.
- Newest projects - The Dixie Chicks retain much popularity, but it seems their underlying fan base has shifted.
In June 2015, a tour was announced set to commence in Antwerp on April 16 2016 - the DCX MMXVI World Tour. It culminated in the release of the live album and DVD, "DCX MMXVI Live".
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Association Awards held on November 2, 2016, the Dixie Chicks were invited to perform alongside Beyoncé on her song "Daddy Lessons". A studio version of the performance was released to digital outlets the following day.
In 2018, the band landed new management, as previous manager Simon Renshaw announced his retirement after managing the band since 1995.
Following their collaboration with Taylor Swift on her song "Soon You'll Get Better" from Swift's seventh studio album Lover, the Dixie Chicks confirmed that they would return to music with a new studio album after a 14-year hiatus.
The album, titled Gaslighter, and produced by Jack Antonoff, was later confirmed with a scheduled release date of May 1, 2020.
The first single, "Gaslighter", and its accompanying music video was released on March 4, 2020.
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