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Dixie Chicks


Dixie Chicks Biography

The Dixie Chicks rose from relative obscurity in 1998 to become one of the most popular acts in contemporary country music. Their origins date back nearly a decade earlier, to 1989, when fiddler Martie Seidel and her banjo-playing sister Emily Erwin formed the group in Dallas with ba**ist Laura Lynch and guitarist Robin Lynn Macy; after getting their start on local street corners, the quartet soon graduated to clubs, receiving an enormous boost when Seidel earned third place honors at the National Fiddle Championships. Originally, the Dixie Chicks (their name inspired by the Little Feat song "Dixie Chickens") promoted a cla**ic cowgirl image, complete with a sound inspired by traditional country, folk, and bluegra**; they even titled their 1990 indie-label debut Thank Heavens for Dale Evans. br /br /With 1992's Little Ol' Cowgirl, the Chicks began slowly moving toward a more contemporary sound, a transformation that in part resulted in the exit of Macy; with Lynch a**uming lead vocal duties, the remaining trio resurfaced in 1993 with Shouldn't a Told You That. Shortly after the Chicks signed with Sony's newly revived Monument imprint in 1995, Lynch left the group as well -- according to a December 10, 1998, feature in the Dallas Observer, both she and Macy were likely victims of Seidel and Erwin's desire to foster a more youthful image; the magazine goes on to call the group "the country version of Menudo, hiring and firing based on age." Soon named as Lynch's replacement was then 21-year-old lead vocalist Natalie Maines, the daughter of steel guitar legend Lloyd Maines. br /br /The lineup switch brought with it a new contemporary wardrobe and an equally modernized country sound; still, few predicted the enormous success of the Dixie Chicks' 1998 major-label debut, Wide Open Spaces. After the album's advance first single, "I Can Love You Better," became the group's first Top Ten hit, both "There's Your Trouble" and the title track went on to top the country charts. Within a year of Wide Open Spaces' release, the record had gone quadruple platinum, and the Dixie Chicks had become superstars -- not only did they take home Best Vocal Group honors and the Horizon Award from the Country Music Association, but they were also named Favorite New Country Artist at the American Music Awards. Wide Open Spaces additionally earned a Grammy for Best Country Album on its way to becoming the best-selling duo or group album in country music history. br /br /Fly followed in 1999, immediately returning the Dixie Chicks to the upper reaches of the country charts with the lead single, "Ready to Run." "Goodbye Earl" was also a smash single for the group. In May 2002, the Dixie Chicks joined Shakira, Mary J. Blige, Cher, and Celine Dion for the Fifth Annual VH1 Divas Show in Las Vegas. Three months later, the girls were back in the game with release of their sixth album, Home, their first for their own Sony imprint, Open Wide Records. Top of the World Tour: Live and its accompanying DVD arrived in 2003, followed by the chart-topping album, Taking the Long Way, in 2006. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide


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