A country music band that achieved mainstream success while maintaining musical credibility, the Dixie Chicks even overcame death threats, hate mail, and the outrage of middle America after publicly opposing the Iraq War and saying they were ashamed to share the same home state as US President George Bush in 2003. Originally coming to prominence playing bluegrass events in Texas, the group’s original line-up featured vocalist / bassist Laura Lynch, banjo / guitar player Emily Robison (later Strayer), fiddle / mandolin player (and Emily’s sister) Martie Maguire, and vocalist / guitarist Robin Lynn Macy, they released three albums – Thank Heavens for Dale Evans (1990), Little Ol’ Cowgirl (1992), and Shouldn’t a Told You That (1993) – before the original line-up splintered and Lynch and Macy departed the band. The remaining duo brought in vocalist and guitarist Natalie Maines and changed their musical style. The group – now a trio - hit the big time when they incorporated a poppier style to their sound. This change in musical direction resulted in the album Wide Open Spaces and the hit singles “I Can Love You Better” and “There's Your Trouble”. Distancing themselves from the traditional conservatism of country music, the Dixie Chicks won over the masses with witty lyrics, Natalie Maines' compelling vocals and the fiddle and banjo skills of sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison. 1999’s The Fly produced the massive hit “Goodbye Earl” and, though their career was threatened by their Iraq War comments, their 2006 album Taking The Long Way won multiple Grammys and proved they were still a commercial force with the hit “Not Ready To Make Nice”. After some time off, they toured occasionally throughout the next decade, but did not return to the studio until 2018. The resulting album, Gaslighter, their first in 14 years, was released in July of 2020. At that time, the group stood firm on their political beliefs yet again, dropping ‘Dixie’ from their name and becoming simply The Chicks. Founding member Laura Lynch was killed in a car crash on December 22, 2023, at the age of 65.