The Complete Timeline of The Chicks, from 1989 to 2020

The Controversies, the Pivots, the Privacy, the Hiatus and the Result of 30 Years of Making Music

There have been a lot of Big Moments in the life of the band formerly known as the Dixie Chicks. It happens when you make music for three decades. There was that one moment in 2003, obviously. But so much of what’s gone into The Chicks of right now has been building since the band’s initial start in 1989. So while that one controversy led to all kinds of conversations, it hardly defines the band’s seasoned and prolific history.

Because along with those more talked-about moments, there have also been so many songs written, chart records broken, awards won, breaks taken, families raised, and more. And all of that has played a part in what led them here, to the release of Gaslighter, due out on Friday (July 17).

So let’s do a #ThrowbackThursday and take a good, long look back at the full 30-year history of this legendary trio.

1989: Four women came together in Texas to form The Dixie Chicks: Erwin sisters Martie (Maguire) and Emily (Strayer), plus Laura Lynch on upright bass and middle school math teacher Robin Lynn Macy on guitar. The group was originally known more for bluegrass and Western swing music than mainstream country.

1990: The band releases what would be their first independent studio album, Thank Heavens for Dale Evans.

1992: The trio — because Macy had retired from the band — release their second independent album, Little Ol’ Cowgirl.

1993: The group releases what would become their last independent album, Shouldn’t a Told You That, after which the band went through some shuffling of who would stay and who would go.

1995: After frontwoman Lynch left the band, Natalie Maines joined the group when her father Lloyd — the band’s steel guitar player — had recommended her to the Erwin sisters.

1998: The Dixie Chicks’ very first major-label album Wide Open Spaces comes out, and almost immediately, their debut single “I Can Love You Better” was their first to make it into the top ten on the country charts.

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