Laura Lynch, a founding member of The Chicks, has tragically died in a car accident in Texas. She was 65 years old.
The current members of The Chicks, Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Strayer, released a statement upon learning of Laura Lynch’s sudden passing.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Laura Lynch, one of the founding members of The Chicks,” they wrote via Instagram on Saturday, December 23. “We hold a special place in our hearts for the time we spent playing music, laughing, and traveling together. Laura was a shining light… her infectious energy and humor fueled the early days of our band. Laura had a talent for design, a love for all things Texas, and played a crucial role in the early success of the band. Her undeniable talents helped us move beyond performing on street corners to stages across Texas and the Midwest. Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones during this sad time.”
Laura’s cousin Mick Lynch confirmed to TMZ on Saturday, December 23, that she had passed away one day earlier outside El Paso, Texas. According to Mick, Laura was driving on a highway when her vehicle was involved in a head-on collision.
Texas law enforcement officials later informed TMZ that Laura’s car was struck after an anonymous driver attempted to pass another car in the lane. Laura was pronounced dead at the scene. Further details about her death have not been disclosed.
Apart from her cousin, Laura is survived by her husband, Mac Tull, and their daughter, Asia.
Laura rose to prominence as one of the founding members of The Dixie Chicks, which shortened its name to The Chicks in 2020, alongside Robin Lynn Macy, Martie Maguire, and Emily Strayer. The quartet formed their bluegrass-country band in 1989, with Laura playing upright bass and serving as the lead vocalist. Macy, now 62, left the band in 1992, followed by Laura three years later in 1995.
Maguire, now 54, and Strayer, now 51, replaced Laura as the lead singer with Natalie Maines. (Natalie is the daughter of The Chicks’ original guitarist, Lloyd Maines.)
“We knew we were taking a big risk by changing lead singers,” Strayer told D Magazine in February 1996. “We could end up losing it all.”
As a trio, The Chicks have released six albums and won 13 Grammy Awards.
Amid the Black Lives Matter movement in June 2020, country music fans urged the band to change their name due to the word “dixie” being associated with the Confederacy.
“We want to respond to this moment,” the musicians wrote in a statement on their website at the time, noting they were dropping “Dixie” from their moniker.
Two years later, Natalie, now 49, elaborated on their decision.
“We had wanted to drop the ‘Dixie’ part of our name for a long time, but it seemed like a huge thing to do,” Natalie said on The Kelly Clarkson Show in August 2022. “So we would call, you know, our merch would say ‘DCX,’ and we always referred to ourselves as ‘The Chicks.’ So it seemed like a really natural change, and it seemed kind of seamless.”
She added at the time: “I always thought [‘dixie’] was a region south of the Mason-Dixon line.”
After leaving The Chicks, Laura primarily lived in Texas with her family. According to an interview in May 2003 with the Plainview Herald, Laura and her former bandmates agreed not to publicly discuss her departure.
“It was worth it, I’d do it all over again,” Laura added to the newspaper, noting she had no regrets from her time in The Chicks.