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A sad Christmas for the family of one of the founders of one of the most famous acts in modern country.

AV Club reports:

Laura Lynch, a founding member of The Chicks (known at the time as The Dixie Chicks) has died. TMZ reports that Lynch was in a car crash outside of El Paso, Texas, and died yesterday; her cousin Mark Lynch confirmed the news to the outlet. Lynch was 65 years old.

Lynch founded the band in 1989 alongside Robin Lynn Macy and sisters Martie and Emily Erwin (later Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer). Initially, the band was primarily a bluegrass band but moved to a more mainstream country sound with their second album Little Ol’ Cowgirl. The change in sound prompted Macy to leave the band, rendering Lynch, who also played the upright bass, the solo lead singer on the band’s third album, Shouldn’t a Told You That. As a trio, finding a large audience was a slow process. “We were plugging along, doing our thing, and boom, people were hiring us for bigger venues. We needed a bigger sound so we hired Lloyd [Maines],” Lynch told My Plainview in 2003.

The story continued, “Lloyd is the father of present Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines, who submitted a demo tape to the group. Initially scouted as a potential replacement for Macy, Maines eventually came to replace Lynch herself. While there was some speculation about behind-the-scenes drama, both Lynch and the group opted not to discuss it.”

“Lynch said in 2003 that it always hurts to be replaced but that she doesn’t regret leaving the group,” AV Club noted.

RIP.

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