Throughout the late ‘90s and early to mid 2000s, three women from Texas known as the Dixie Chicks became one of the most successful groups in country music. During their career, which has consisted of seven studio albums and 25 singles, they have won countless awards, sold millions of albums and broken down barriers for women in country music. After taking a 13-year break from releasing new music, they are officially back in 2020 with new single, “Gaslighter,” and plans for a new album. In honor of that, here’s a look back the Top 10+ singles throughout their career.
“There’s Your Trouble” — from Wide Open Spaces
While their 1998 album Wide Open Spaces wasn’t technically the Dixie Chicks’ debut album, it was the first one featuring new lead singer Natalie Maines and the first album to garner serious commercial success. The song that began that ride to success was the second single, “There’s Your Trouble.” In the song, lead singer Natalie Maines belts out an upbeat story about a man who just can’t seem to see she’s the one, while band members Emily Robison and Martie Maguire back her up with fiddle and banjo instrumentation. The song was the band’s first No. 1 and landed them their first Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
“Wide Open Spaces” — from Wide Open Spaces
For their third single from Wide Open Spaces, the Dixie Chicks released the title track, a free-spirited, quintessentially country song about a young woman leaving home and discovering the world. The song went on to become one of the group’s biggest and most recognizable hits, spending four weeks atop the US Country Singles Chart and even crossing over to the Pop chart, landing at No. 41.
“Ready To Run” — from Fly
Following the success of their Wide Open Spaces album, the Dixie Chicks released their Fly album in 1999. The first single from that project was “Ready To Run,” a twangy and upbeat song from the perspective of a woman not quite ready to settle down. The music video for the tune is memorable, as it features all three Dixie Chicks walking down the aisle in wedding dresses and then taking off running. The single was a solid introduction to their Fly album and landed at No. 2 on the charts. Fittingly, the song was also featured on the soundtrack for the Richard Gere and Julia Roberts film, Runaway Bride.
“Cowboy Take Me Away” — from Fly
The Dixie Chicks released one of their most essential singles to date in 1999 with “Cowboy Take Me Away.” Written by band member Martie Maguire and songwriter Marcus Hummon, the song tells the story of woman yearning to be swept off her feet and taken on an adventure into the ‘wild blue.’ The visual-heavy lyrics about the need to explore are paired with airy instrumentation featuring fiddle, banjo, and steel guitar. Unsurprisingly, the song reached the top of the Billboard Country Songs chart in 2000, and charted at No. 27 on the Hot 100.
“Goodbye Earl” — from Fly
While their previous single “Cowboy Take Me Away” showed the sweet side to the Dixie Chicks, the group changed their tune by kicking off the new millennium with the bold and sassy “Goodbye Earl” in 2000. In this fierce tune, the Chicks tell the story of a woman named Wanda who is abused by her husband Earl. After the abuse lands Wanda in the hospital, her friend Mary Ann comes to see her and they decide that “Earl had to die.” The song is both humorous and a tad disconcerting as the Chicks sing about poisoning Earl, wrapping him up in a tarp, and disposing of him in a lake.
“Long Time Gone” — from Home
The Dixie Chicks continued their stream of hit albums with the release of Home in 2002. The first single from the album was “Long Time Gone,” a country/bluegrass jam in which lead singer Natalie Maines tells a story about moving to Nashville to make it big. The song was written by Darrell Scott, and original appeared on his Real Time album. The Dixie Chicks’ version did well commercially, landing at No. 2 on the country chart. “Long Time Gone” also earned them a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
“Landslide” — from Home
For their second single from “Home,” the Dixie Chicks released their version of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “Landslide.” Their version featured Maines’ strong voice at the forefront, with harmony from Maguire and Robertson. The simple acoustic guitar instrumentation on the original version was replaced by banjo and dobro on the Dixie Chicks’ version. “Landslide” was immensely successful and became a signature song for the group.
Travelin’ Soldier — from Home
The Dixie Chicks continued the momentum of “Landslide” with their next single, “Travelin’ Soldier.” This emotional track tells the story of a young soldier getting ready to ship off to war, but before he goes, he meets a waitress at a cafe and asks if he can send her letters. Throughout the song, the two connect through writing letters back and forth and eventually fall in love. In the heart wrenching third verse, however, it is revealed that the soldier has passed away in the war. The sad conclusion of the story is compounded by a long instrumental outro featuring fiddle and military-style drums.
“Not Ready To Make Nice” — from Taking The Long Way
It’s hard to think about the Dixie Chicks’ whirlwind career without remembering the controversy they became entangled in after lead singer Natalie Maines shared her opinion about President George W. Bush and the War on Terrorism in 2003. Their next few singles following the comment did not do exceedingly well, but they came back in a big way in 2006 with “Not Ready To Make Nice.” In the tune, Maines sings that she’s not ready to forgive those who blacklisted them after the comment. The song became one of the Chicks’ biggest hits, earning them three Grammy Awards and 2x Platinum status.
“Gaslighter” — from upcoming album
After making a splash with “Not Ready To Make Nice,” the Dixie Chicks released a few more songs through 2006 and 2007 before taking a hiatus. In the years since, the group toured with the Eagles and embarked on their headlining DCX MMXVI World Tour, but did not release any new music. However, that all changed in 2020 when they released their brand new single, “Gaslighter,” and announced plans for a new album. “Gaslighter” is an uptempo and colorful return to country radio, and although it’s been 13 years since the group last released music, the song bears the same signature vocals, harmony and powerful lyrics that makes the Dixie Chicks so unique.