A statement Tuesday confirming the postponement did not reveal a new date for the album but said that “additional details are forthcoming” and urged people to check the band’s social media accounts.
While any popular band’s long-awaited album sparks anticipation, the Dixie Chicks’ upcoming project has drawn extra attention considering their polarizing legacy. The last time they released new music was in May 2006 with “Taking the Long Way,” a candid response to the career-threatening backlash they received three years earlier when lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President George W. Bush on the eve of the Iraq War to a concert crowd in London. (“We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas,” she said.)
“Taking the Long Way” dominated the 2007 Grammy Awards and won album of the year. Afterward, Maines, along with sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer, took a long hiatus, as Maines released a rock album and Strayer and Maguire formed a duo, the Court Yard Hounds. In 2016, the trio reunited for a tour and proved they could still sell out arenas around the world. Over the past year and a half, the band has been teasing a new record. Anticipation among fans was at an all-time high, especially with the fiery lyrics and music video for “Gaslighter,” presumed to be about Maines’s divorce.
However, as they began to embark on a press tour — the cover of Allure magazine, an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — the novel coronavirus started spreading across the United States. On March 12, they canceled a performance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” as they decided it was best for the band and crew not to travel.