Louise Maines (born October 14, 1974) is a Grammy Award
winning singer and songwriter who achieved success as the
lead vocalist for the female country music band Dixie
Chicks. Born in Lubbock, Texas, Maines considers herself a
rebel who "loved not thinking in the way I knew the majority
of people thought."
In 1995, after leaving the Berklee College of Music,
Maines was recruited by the Dixie Chicks to replace their
lead singer, Laura Lynch. With Maines as lead vocalist, the
band earned ten Country Music Association Awards and seven
Grammy Awards for their work between 1998 and 2003.
On the eve of the Iraq invasion, while in concert in London
for the 2003 Top of the World Tour, Maines commented that
the Dixie Chicks were "...ashamed the President of the
United States is from Texas." Negative public reaction in
the United States to this comment resulted in a loss of
standing in the country music industry for the Dixie Chicks.
Boycotts by country music radio stations and death threats
hindered the band's continued success. In 2006, with Maines
still acting as lead singer, the Dixie Chicks released a
"come back" album, Taking the Long Way. The album
subsequently won five Grammys in an act some see as
vindication for the shunned band and lead singer.
was born on October 14, 1974 in Lubbock, Texas to country
musician and producer Lloyd Maines and his wife Tina Maines.
She attended Matt Williams Elementary School in Lubbock
where her second grade teacher recalls being told by Maines
during a math lesson, "Teacher, I don't need to learn this
stuff-I'm gonna be a star." Maines was a cheerleader while
attending O.L. Slaton Junior High School, and graduated in
1992 from Lubbock High School where she had participated in
the school choir. Maines has described growing up in
conservative Texas, saying "...I always rebelled against
that. My parents sent me and my sister to public minority
schools so I always felt like a hippie and a rebel...As a
teenager I always loved not thinking in the way I knew the
majority of people thought. I always stood up for
minorities...I've always stood up for homosexuals. I just
always had these really strong convictions about doing so."
Following the completion of high school, Maines
attended several colleges. She spent
two semesters pursuing an undeclared major at West Texas
A&M where her studies focused heavily on radio, then a
year and a half at South Plains College. One of Maines'
instructors at South Plains, and a former member of The
Maines Brothers Band, Cary Banks, recalled "She was
mostly into rock'n'roll, rhythm and blues... alternative
rock." When Banks encountered Maines on campus, he said
that she usually needed to vent a little steam. "She
would get into a lot of political arguments" at the
predominantly Republican school, and was a fan of
Democratic Texas Governor Ann Richards. "She's always
been opinionated and hardheaded like her dad." In
December 1994, Maines auditioned for and received a
vocal scholarship to Berklee College of Music. She
pursued the diploma program at Berklee and left upon
completion of her studies. Even though Maines is from
Lubbock, home of Texas Tech University, she attended
only one class at the school, a 1995 summer course
entitled "Introductory Wildlife.
1997, Maines married her South Plains College boyfriend,
bassist Michael Tarabay, who worked for the Dixie Chicks as
a driver and roadie. Almost two years later, Maines and
Tarabay filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable
Maines met actor Adrian Pasdar in June 1999, and they
married on June 24, 2000 at The Little White Wedding
Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada for fifty-five dollars. They
have two children, Jackson Slade Pasdar (born March 15,
2001) and Beckett Finn Pasdar (born July 14, 2004). She
has referred to herself as "Natalie Pasdar." The family
has homes in Los Angeles, California and Austin, Texas.