The Dixie Chicks are an American country band which has also successfully crossed over into other genres. The band is composed of founding members (and sisters) Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Erwin Robison, and lead singer Natalie Maines. The band formed in 1989 in Dallas, Texas and was originally composed of four women performing bluegrass and country music, busking and touring the bluegrass festival circuits and small venues for six years without attracting a major label. After the departure of one bandmate, the replacement of their lead singer, and a slight change in their repertoire, the Dixie Chicks achieved country music and pop success, beginning in 1998 with hit songs including "Wide Open Spaces", "Cowboy Take Me Away", and "Long Time Gone". The women also became well-known for their independent spirit and controversial comments on subjects such as war and politics.
During a London concert ten days before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, lead vocalist Maines said, "we don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States [George W. Bush] is from Texas" (the Dixie Chicks' home state). The statement offended many people, who thought it rude...