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 soon reached a large amount of commercial success, beginning in 1998 with hit songs "There''s Your Trouble" and "Wide Open Spaces". 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 statement offended many Americans, who thought it rude and unpatriotic, and the ensuing controversy cost the band half of their concert audience attendance in the United States. The incident negatively affected their career and led to accusations of the three women being "un-American", as well as hate mail, death threats, and the public destruction of their albums in protest.
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