Dixie Chicks co-founder Laura Lynch died at the age of 65 this Friday after falling victim to a head-on car collision on the road.
“Lynch, of Fort Worth, was driving east on Route 62 near Cornudas, Texas, about 70 miles east of El Paso, when a pickup truck that had been heading west crossed into her lane and struck her pickup truck head on,” The New York Times has confirmed.
She was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene, whereas the other driver was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. An investigation into the crash is reportedly now ongoing.
Laura Lynch, founding member of the country music superstar group formerly known as “The Dixie Chicks”, died in a car crash in West Texas on Friday. She was 65. pic.twitter.com/ion0SniLiX
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) December 24, 2023
Responding to word of her death, the Dixie Chicks (now known as The Chicks), a popular country music group that’s been active since 1989, released a statement through the social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.
“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Laura Lynch, a founding member of The Chicks. We hold a special place in our hearts for the time we spent playing music, laughing and traveling together. Laura was a bright light…her infectious energy and humor gave a spark to the early days of our band,” the statement reads.
“Laura had a gift for design, a love of all things Texas and was instrumental in the early success of the band. Her undeniable talents helped propel us beyond busking on street corners to stages all across Texas and the mid-West. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this sad time,” it continues.
1/2 Laura was a bright light…her infectious energy and humor gave a spark to the early days of our band. Laura had a gift for design, a love of all things Texas and was instrumental in the early success of the band. pic.twitter.com/Q2WsqF5miM
— The Chicks (@thechicks) December 23, 2023
2/2 Her undeniable talents helped propel us beyond busking on street corners to stages all across Texas and the mid-West.
Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this sad time.
– Emily, Martie & Natalie
— The Chicks (@thechicks) December 23, 2023
The statement was signed by The Chicks’ current members: Emily Strayer, Martie Maguire and Natalie Maines.
“Lynch was one of four founding members of the band, formed in 1989 with Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer (who used their family name, Erwin), and Robin Lynn Macy,” according to USA Today.
“Lynch played the upright bass and later became the lead singer. They recorded three albums — Thank Heavens for Dale Evans in 1990, Little Ol’ Cowgirl in 1992 and Shouldn’t a Told You That a year later.”
That being said, Lynch reportedly left the band way back in 1995 as it switched from bluegrass to mainstream country. She was ultimately replaced by Maines, the member who’d later become famous for trash-talking then-President George W. Bush in 2003 and catapulting the band into infamy.
RIP to the beautiful Laura Lynch, founding member of The (Dixie) Chicks.
The Chicks became one of the most controversial music groups for taking a stand against Bush and his war. They came under fire again for the infamous CMA Daddy Lessons Performance.pic.twitter.com/cSu4kV0ACv
— RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR (@RenaissanceWT) December 24, 2023
Fast-forward to March 10th, 2003, when the band was “performing at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire theater in London, England, as the kickoff to their international Top of the World Tour, in support of 2002’s multi-platinum selling album Home,” according to The Boot.
“News was buzzing all over the globe about the United States’ impending invasion of Iraq, under the leadership of then-President George W. Bush,” the news site notes.
And then as Maines was introducing the band’s latest single during the Shepherd’s Bush Empire concert, she said this: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”
The backlash was immediate.
“[T]he comment quickly circulated in the United States, and many country radio stations immediately stopped playing their music. Several country artists, including Reba McEntire and Toby Keith, also spoke out against the threesome, with Keith and Maines publicly bashing each other, both in their music and in the media, as a result,” The Boot notes.
“While the Chicks formed a united front in the wake of the controversy, finishing their tour and putting out one more album, 2006’s Taking the Long Way, the backlash over that comment ultimately ended their career as superstars,” according to The Boot.
Years later in 2020, the band changed its name amid the violent Black Lives Matter riots that sprung up after the death of criminal suspect George Floyd.
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