The Chicks – formerly known as Dixie Chicks – are a trio originally from Dallas, TX. They’re known for their sharp-witted songwriting and expansive harmonies.
In 1989, sisters Emily and Martie Erwin formed a bluegrass band with bassist Laura Lynch and guitarist Robin Lynn Macy. After two albums and little commercial success outside the south, Macy departed and Lynch took over lead singing duties. But following the group’s third album, 1993’s Shouldn’t A Told You That, singer Natalie Maines stepped in to replace Lynch.
From there, commercial success followed. Their 1998 album Wide Open Spaces sold 12 million copies while their 1999 album Fly sold 10 million copies. Both albums also won Album of the Year at the ACM Awards and Best Country Album at the Grammys.
Things took a turn in 2003, when the Chicks performed in England. During a London stop on their Top of the World tour, in support of their 2002 album Home, Maines told the audience she was ashamed then-president George W. Bush was from Texas. The backlash was immediate. They were blacklisted from country radio and the fallout hurt their album and tour sales.
Their first release following the controversy was 2006’s Taking the Long Way Home, produced by Rick Rubin. It went on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year, as well as Song of the Year and Record of the Year for their lead single ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’.
The group went on hiatus in 2007, performing occasionally - both together and independently – for the next several years. In 2015, they announced their first headlining tour of North America in a decade. They returned with a new album, Gaslighter, in 2020.
Whether you’re celebrating with friends or drowning your sorrows, a drunk can always count on country music. So raise a glass to the songs that have stuck around, even when you ended up drinking alone. Here are 15 essential country songs to sip along to.
The trio discuss their biggest hits and changing their name with Kelleigh Bannen on the latest episode of Essentials Radio on Apple Music.