Laura Lynch, one of the founding members of the Dixie Chicks, has died in a car crash aged 65.
Her cousin Mick Lynch told showbiz news outlet TMZ she was driving outside El Paso, Texas, at the time of the collision on Friday.
The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that Lynch was pronounced dead at the scene following the head-on crash.
The driver of the other vehicle was taken to hospital with “non-life-threatening injuries” and there is an ongoing investigation into the collision, a report from the department said.
Bassist Lynch formed the American country group along with sisters Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire, and Robin Lynn Macy in 1989.
The band – now made up of Natalie Maines, Strayer and Maguire – changed their name to The Chicks in 2020 following criticism of the use of the word Dixie, which often refers to the southern states of the US that broke away around 1860 to form the new Confederate States of America.
They said in a post on X: “Laura was a bright light…her infectious energy and humour gave a spark to the early days of our band.
“Laura had a gift for design, a love of all things Texas and was instrumental in the early success of the band.
“Her undeniable talents helped propel us beyond busking on street corners to stages all across Texas and the mid-West.
“Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this sad time.”
Before Lynch left, the band released three albums together – their 1990 debut Thank Heavens For Dale Evans, 1992’s Little Ol’ Cowgirl and 1993’s Shouldn’t A Told You That.
The group got its commercial breakthrough in 1998 with their fourth album Wide Open Spaces, with Maines leading the vocals.
It was followed up by 1999’s Fly, 2002’s Home, 2006’s Take The Long Way – which all went to number one in the US album charts.
The Chicks supported Bruce Springsteen at BST Hyde Park in London in July.