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Strike Up the Band: Dixie Chicks Return to Country Charts With ‘Gaslighter’

The trio makes its best Country Airplay debut since 2002.

Dixie Chicks‘ “Gaslighter” bounds onto Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart (dated March 14) at No. 36, with 3 million impressions, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. The bow was helped by hourly plays on participating iHeartMedia stations on March 5, following its release a day earlier.

The trio makes its second-highest entrance among 27 total Country Airplay visits, dating to its 1997 debut; its cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” opened at No. 32 in September 2002.


“Landslide” reached No. 2 that November and follow-up “Travelin’ Soldier” became Dixie Chicks’ 14th top 10, and sixth No. 1, in March 2003. The band has yet to rank in the top 30 since, however, following negative comments that lead singer Natalie Maines made about President George W. Bush ahead of the Iraq War, also in March 2003.

The act, also including founders and sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer, wrote “Gaslighter” with Jack Antonoff. It’s the title track from Dixie Chicks’ first album (due May 1) since 2006.

“When Dixie Chicks put out new music for the first time in 14 years, it is certainly an event and we wanted to make sure that we were involved,” says WEBG Chicago program director Lance Houston. “We have had mixed reviews from our listeners but aren’t seeing a ton of blowback from playing them again.”

On the airplay-, sales- and streaming-driven Hot Country Songs survey, “Gaslighter” opens at No. 31. It launches at No. 2 on Country Digital Song Sales after it sold 8,000 downloads. The song also drew 2.3 million on-demand U.S. streams in the tracking week.

“Gaslighter” is Dixie Chicks’ second Hot Country Songs entry since September, when Taylor Swift’s “Soon You’ll Get Better,” featuring the trio, hit No. 10 (driven largely by streaming), becoming the group’s 15th top 10.