Simon Renshaw, longtime manager of the Dixie Chicks, is retiring from the music business. He had worked with the country trio since 1995 when Natalie Maines joined sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire. All told, Renshaw spent 43 years in the music business. He tells Variety: “Moving to Mexico and exploring all those places I’ve always wanted to. No interest in dying at my desk. Recommending that everyone else should do the same!”
Renshaw, a former partner at The Firm, saw more than a decade of success with his own company Strategic Artist Management whose clients included Miranda Lambert, Clay Aiken and Anastacia. But it was with the Chicks that both reached career highs in the late 1990s and early 2000s, selling tens of millions of albums to become one of the most popular groups of their time. They also won 13 Grammy Awards including one for album of the year, for “Taking the Long Way,” released by Columbia Records in 2006.
His retirement means the Dixie Chicks are now open to new representation. In fact, Variety has learned that the trio has been taking meetings with several high-profile music managers, including Scooter Braun, whose SB Projects represents Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kanye West and recently signed country group Zac Brown Band.
The Dixie Chicks have not released an album since “Taking the Long Way” and its single “Not Ready to Make Nice” had the group sweeping the Grammys’ Album, Record and Song of the Year categories in 2007. The speculation has been that a new manager might try to convince the Chicks to re-enter the studio after a 12-year layoff. Their 2016-17 comeback tour, their first full global trek after a decade of being mostly inactive, proved a significant market still exists for the trio, playing to an estimated 800,000 fans over the course of just over 80 dates.