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The Chicks were the preeminent country group of their generation, transforming the sound and sensibility of the genre at the dawn of the 2000s with their multi-platinum albums Wide Open Spaces, Fly, and Home.

Steeped in country tradition — in their earliest incarnation anchored by Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire, they were a western outfit, singing songs by Texan troubadours — the Chicks were transformed when Natalie Maines joined the band in 1995. Maines brought a steely defiance and an unorthodox pop/rock sensibility to the band, characteristics that were evident on 1998′s Wide Open Spaces, but its 1999 sequel Fly is where this blend reached full bloom.

Fly inched into the pop mainstream, with its revenge anthem “Goodbye Earl” cracking Billboard’s Top 20 and the record itself being nominated for a Grammy Album Of The Year. Home proved it was no fluke: the 2002 album gave the trio two Top Ten pop singles in “Long Time Gone” and “Landslide,” while maintaining a robust presence on country radio.

The trio rallied for Taking the Long Way, a 2006 album that took home five Grammys including Album Of The Year, but after its release, the Chicks took an extended hiatus. By the time they returned in 2020 with Gaslighter, an album that fully embraced pop, they were hailed as the most influential country band of their generation, cited as an influence by scores of younger musicians.

Here is The Chicks – Wide Open Spaces

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