Founding Dixie Chicks member Laura Lynch killed in car crash in Texas

Editor note: An earlier broadcast version of this story contained an incorrect photo. It has been updated.

Founding Dixie Chicks member Laura Lynch was killed in a car crash in West Texas on Friday evening, her cousin Michael Lynch confirmed to CBS News.

Details of the crash were not immediately known. 

An upright bass player, Lynch founded the band alongside three other women in 1989, including sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer, according to the band's biography on Country Music television. The group recorded three albums together before Lynch left and was replaced by Natalie Maines, creating the current trio of Maines, Maguire and Strayer. 

An undated photo of Laura Lynch, one of the founding members of the Dixie Chicks. She died in a car crash in Texas on Dec. 22, 2023.  Michael Lynch

In a 1992 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Lynch told director Jim Ruddy the band was a group effort and she "hopes female harmony" makes a big comeback. Lynch discussed how they named the all-female country music band known for its intense harmonies and guitar playing, she said the group was driving around listening to Little Feat and the lyrics had Dixie Chicken in them. 

Lynch said it was suggested the band called themselves the Dixie Chickens, but everyone responded "Ooh, I don't know about being called chickens," so the girls shortened it to "Dixie Chicks."

In June 2020, the band changed its name to just "The Chicks." The name change came as the U.S. reckoned with its history of racial injustice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. The term "Dixie" has often been associated with the slavery era. 

In a statement Saturday afternoon, the band described Lynch as a "bright light," writing that "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.

"Her undeniable talents helped propel us beyond busking on street corners to stages all across Texas and the mid-West," read the statement, which was signed by Maines, Maguire and Strayer. 


We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. By continuing to use this site, you accept these cookies.