Laura Lynch, one of the founding members of the country music juggernaut the Dixie Chicks, has died.
Her cousin Mick Lynch revealed that she had died on Friday while driving from El Paso to Dell City, which is about 96 miles east.
The Texas Department of Public Safety later confirmed Lynch’s death.
She played upright bass for the original quartet lineup of the Dixie Chicks, before jumping in on lead vocals later in her stint. The current trio lineup of the group changed its name to simply The Chicks in 2020 in the wake of racial justice protests spurred on by the murder of George Floyd.
Laura Lynch, one of the founding members of the country music juggernaut the Dixie Chicks, has died in a car crash outside of El Paso, Texas, according to TMZ. She was 65
According to a preliminary investigation by law enforcement, Lynch had been driving east on Highway 62 at the time she was killed.
Another car that was heading west reportedly crossed the dotted line in an undivided section of the two-way highway in order to pass a slower vehicle in front of it.
As the opposing vehicle pulled out into the east-bound lane, it hit Lynch’s car head-on, killing her.
Despite the severity of Lynch’s injuries, the other driver survived with non-life threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital.
The crash was apparently devastating, and the musician was declared dead at the scene.
A full probe into the crash has since been launched, according to the outlet.
Lynch co-founded a four-person version of The Dixie Chicks in 1989 that included vocalist and guitarist Robin Lynn Macy; Martie Maguire (née Erwin) on fiddle, mandolin, guitar and vocals; and her sister Emily Strayer (née Erwin) on guitar, banjo, dobro and vocals.
Lynch and Macy initially shared lead vocal duties on the group’s first two LPs, 1990s Thank Heavens for Dale Evans and its follow-up, Little Ol’ Cowgirl (1992).
But after Macy’s departure in 1993, spurred on by the group focusing on more contemporary songwriting, Macy departed the group, leaving Lynch to cover all the leads for the group’s third album, 1993’s Shouldn’t a Told You That.
After that album, like the band’s previous releases, failed to attract much commercial interest, current guitarist and lead singer Natalie Maines was recruited to help lead the band into a more modern country style and away from its earlier bluegrass-based style.
Details of Lynch’s departure are hazy, and it’s unclear if she chose to leave the band or if the addition of Maines and the group’s evolving sound forced her hand.
The new trio lineup of the Dixie Chicks had a commercial breakthrough with its fourth album, 1998’s Wide Open Spaces, which went on to earn Diamond status in the US for selling 13 million units.
They quickly followed it up with another hit, Fly (1999), which became their first number-one album on the Billboard 200 chart.
The band’s commercial fortune were thrown into jeopardy for a few years beginning in 2003, after Maines criticized the invasion of Iraq and then-President George W. Bush.
Lynch was killed when a passing car from the opposite lane hit her car head-on on Highway 62 in Texas. She originally played bass and sang lead in the Dixie Chicks but left the band in 1995 before it became a commercial juggernaut
Lynch was declared dead at the scene, but the driver who crashed into her was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. An investigation into the crash has been launched
Lynch left around 1995, and The Chicks added guitarist and singer Natalie Maines in her place. Their 1998 LP Wide Open Spaces made them country stars, though their 2003 criticism of the Iraq War and George W. Bush saw them banned from thousands of country stations for years; seen in June in Glastonbury, England
Right-wing country music fans were outraged, and thousands of country music stations banned the trio for several years.
After their 2006 Taking The Long Way, the group took a hiatus from recording until 2020’s hit Gaslighter, which revived its fortunes and brought them back into the upper echelons of the Billboard 200 with a number three peak.
The Dixie Chicks became just The Chicks in 2020 in the wake of racial justice protests brought on by the killing of Georg Floyd by former Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin, who was later convicted of unintentional second-degree murder and third-degree murder, among other charges.
The members said they had long wanted to change the name due to its associations with the Antebellum South and chattel slavery.