Laura Lynch, Co-founder of Dixie Chicks, Passes Away at 65

By Joseph Franklin

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Lynch co-founded the Dixie Chicks, also known as the Chicks, in 1989 with Robin Lynn Macy and sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer (née Erwin). Lynch and Macy split lead vocal responsibilities until Macy’s departure in 1993 when Lynch became the solo frontwoman. Natalie Maines took her seat in 2005.

Founding Member Laura Lynch of Dixie Chicks Dies

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Laura Lynch, a founding member of The Chicks,” said Maines, Strayer, and Maguire in a joint statement after Lynch’s death. We will always cherish our time together performing music, laughing, and travelling. Laura was a shining light. Her contagious enthusiasm and sense of humour fueled the early days of our band. Laura had a talent for design, a passion for all things Texas, and was essential in the band’s early success. Her tremendous abilities propelled us from street corners to venues throughout Texas and the Midwest.

Before she departed, the group released three independent albums with Lynch on lead vocals: “Thank Heavens for Dale Evans” (1990), “Little Ol’ Cowgirl” (1992), and “Shouldn’t a Told You That” (1993). The group’s pre-Maines incarnation was significantly different, focused on bluegrass, retro-country, and a cowgirl image. This aesthetic proved regionally successful in Dallas but was destined to have something other than a national appeal.

Founding Member Laura Lynch of Dixie Chicks Dies

Although Lynch refused to discuss the reasons for her resignation in subsequent years, it occurred when legendary Texas steel guitar player Lloyd Maines joined the band as a sideman; ultimately, he advised that his daughter, Natalie, join the group. There was allegedly consideration of returning to a two-frontwoman configuration, but with management and potential big labels perceiving Natalie as a star, that concept was quickly abandoned. Columbia signed the Chicks with Maines as the lone vocalist, and the group broke a breakthrough in country music in 1997.

Lynch is often mentioned by music enthusiasts when discussing the history of musicians who left legendary bands before they were famous, which ranges from Pete Best in the Beatles to Dave Mustaine in Metallica and beyond.

However, Lynch was more prepared than many other performers in her circumstances to retire from music, as she did after leaving the Dixie Chicks. She reunited with her high school love and eventual husband, rancher Mac Tull, who had supposedly won $26.8 million in a lottery the same year she left the band. They married in 1997.

Lynch said in a 1995 interview with the Dallas Morning News society writer that the departure was not her idea, but she accepted it.

“It can’t be characterized as resignation,” she told the publication. “There are three Dixie Chicks, and I’m only one.” Noting that she was 37 then, while the other two sisters were 23 and 25, Lynch said, “The band’s called the Dixie Chicks… It was difficult to be a Chick while I was having a horrible day on the road.” She said, “I have a 14-year-old daughter and look forward to spending more time with her.”

Lynch Tull told the Associated Press in 2003 that she had no regrets about not becoming popular with the rest of the group in the late ’90s but that she looked back fondly on her time with the original lineup despite how difficult it had been for her health. “It was well worth it,” she said. “I’d get anaemic all over again to do it.”

The controversy that changed the group’s fate in 2003, when Maines slammed President George W. Bush’s war policy in a London concert, would not have happened if Lynch was still the group’s singer, for obvious reasons — not least because Lynch identified herself that year as being very pro-Bush, saying, “I think the world of him.” Indeed, they had performed concerts attended by the future president while on the Dallas circuit with Lynch in the lead.

In June 2020, a quarter-century after Lynch’s departure, the country music band changed their name to “The Chicks” in response to public debates about the propriety of the word “Dixie,” which has long been connected with slavery. When the band was created in the late 1980s with Lynch, it was called in part after the Little Feat song “Dixie Chicken.”

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Greetings, I'm Joseph Franklin, serving as the News Editor at I proudly hail from the United States. I hold a degree in journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University. Writing has always been a passion of mine, whether it's reading books, crafting poetry, or weaving stories. Beyond the written word, I'm an adventurous spirit who finds joy in exploring new places and seeking thrilling experiences. Thank you for visiting, where I get to combine my love for writing and journalism. Feel free to connect with me, and let's journey into the world of captivating stories and news together!

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