Dixie Chicks make welcome return after hiatus

A common trend among well-established musical artists is to go on a hiatus after they have a stable career they can come back to. Typically, artists do this for personal reasons or to be able to spend some time living a regular life. Some examples are Kesha taking a hiatus to deal with a lawsuit, Adele taking three years off of her music career because she won six Grammy awards, Garth Brooks taking 13 years off of his singing career to spend time with his daughter until she graduated from high school, and Jessica Simpson taking years off because she was busy with her marriage and two children.

The Dixie Chicks, a country singing trio composed of Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer, and Martie Maguire is a little different. The group took a 14-year hiatus, but not because of the usual reasons. The background leading to their success according to Britannica and Apple Music leading up to their hiatus was remarkable. They released their first album, called “Wide Open Spaces,” in 1998 and it won a Grammy for best country album. They later went on to record the best-selling group album in country music history.

The group continued to have great success until 2003 when  they made rude comments about the president during a concert in London. After that, the country music industry decided to shut out the Dixie Chicks, causing the group to not release any music until 2006. The album they released in 2006 was called “Taking the Long Way,” which attempted to deal with the bad blood from the comments at the concert. Shockingly, the new album won two Grammys. The most popular song of the album “Not Ready to Make Nice” won three Grammys. The success was enough to give the group a chance to officially re-start their music career again for some, but the album only sold two million copies when other albums such as “Wide Open Spaces” sold 12 million.

The group decided to take a break from each other and music. The reason is not just the lack of copies sold from the album according to the Washington Post and the Boot the country music community burned their CDs, sent death threats, and their music stopped airing on the country music radio stations. The Dixie Chicks’ album in 2006 leaned more towards pop music which almost steered clear of their usual fans and style of music. So the group was no longer welcomed in the country music community and they had to let people let off steam. During that time, the group, however, was featured in a song by Beyonce “Daddy Lessons” and a song by Taylor Swift “Soon You’ll Get Better”. Even though the group was featured in two songs, they did not make any of their own music. Natalie Maines however did release an album called “Mother.” 

Then, on March 4 this year, a new song by the Dixie Chicks was released. It was a teaser song for their album that was supposed to be released today, but due to the corona virus pandemic, the album had to be pushed. Despite the setback of the album, the song was a success. It was 20th on the billboard for Hot Country Songs, 36th for Airplay, and seventh for Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles. The Dixie Chicks’ newfound success is a big deal, not only because they  have  had to deal with lots of hate from the country industry due to their mistakes, but the fact that they found a way to stay on top and be successful even in some of their lowest parts of their career. They have proven their ability to make good music even when people did not like them. According to Rolling Stone, their new album will be centered around the ending of the marriage between the lead singer Natalie Maines and her now ex-husband. Their album will also include other personal aspects of the band’s lives including relationships and struggles each member faced. I am convinced this is impactful on the music industry, that nothing is impossible, and you can always bounce back.