The Chicks are coming back to the Minnesota State Fair
The trio sold out the Grandstand — twice — in 2016
ST. PAUL — The Chicks, the trio formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, will return to the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on Aug. 25.
Tickets are priced from $197 to $77 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 17, via etix.com or by phone at 800-514-3849. Canadian folk band Wild Rivers will open.
Sisters Martie and Emily Erwin founded the group in 1989 with two other women and spent the next five years playing the bluegrass circuit. This early incarnation of the Chicks didn’t get much airplay, but did appear on “A Prairie Home Companion.”
After releasing a trio of independent albums, the band signed to Sony Music in 1995 with a new lineup featuring the Erwin sisters and vocalist Natalie Maines, daughter of steel guitarist Lloyd Maines.
With a new, contemporary sound, the Chicks sold more than 22 million copies of their first two major-label records, “Wide Open Spaces” and “Fly.” They also dominated country radio with 11 Top 10 singles, including “I Can Love You Better,” “Cowboy Take Me Away” and “Goodbye Earl.”
While on tour in support of their third album, “Home,” the trio’s career took a sharp turn. Shortly before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Maines told a London audience, “We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that (George W. Bush) is from Texas.” The comment earn a swift, negative response from conservatives and, while Maines publicly apologized, the band lost many fans and at least one sponsor.
In 2006, the Chicks addressed the controversy with their album “Taking the Long Way” and its Grammy-winning lead single “Not Ready to Make Nice,” co-written by Minnesota’s Dan Wilson. After touring the record, the group went on a hiatus and pursued solo careers.
The trio returned to action in 2016 with a world tour that included two sold-out nights at the Grandstand. In 2020, they announced they were dropping the word “Dixie” from their moniker, saying they had picked “that stupid name” as teenagers, and had wanted to change it for years. Soon after, the Chicks released their first album in 14 years, “Gaslighter.”