Dixie Chicks get their revenge

The Dixie Chicks completed a defiant comeback on Sunday night, capturing five Grammy awards after being shunned by the country music establishment over the group’s anti-Bush comments leading up to the Iraq invasion.

The Texas trio won all the biggest categories, including record and song of the year for the no-regrets anthem Not Ready to Make Nice. They also won best country album, which was especially ironic considering they don’t consider themselves country artists anymore.

“I’m ready to make nice!” lead singer Natalie Maines exclaimed as the group accepted the album of the year award. “I think people are using their freedom of speech with all these awards. We get the message.”

The Dixie Chicks won all five awards they were nominated for, sweet vindication after the superstars’ lives were threatened and sales plummeted when Maines criticized President Bush on the eve of the Iraq war in 2003. Almost overnight, one of the most successful groups of any genre was boycotted by Nashville and disappeared from country radio.

With “Taking the Long Way,” the women relied on producer Rick Rubin’s guidance for an album that was more rock and less country. (Rubin, who also produced “Stadium Arcadium,” was honored as producer of the year.)

The standing ovations the Chicks received Sunday illustrated how much the political climate has changed regarding the Iraq war, and even Bush.

“That’s interesting,” Maines crowed from the podium after the country award was handed out earlier in the night. “Well, to quote the great ‘Simpsons’ — ‘Heh-Heh.’

“Just kidding,” added Maines. “A lot of people just turned their TVs off right now. I’m very sorry for that.”

Bandmate Emily Robison noted, “We wouldn’t have done this album without everything we went through, so we have no regrets.”

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press


  1. Donna

    Finally these brave “chicks” are having their day in the sun. So happy for them. It was the consensus with many of us at the time but Maines had the guts to speak out when some of us were afraid. Thanks.

  2. Gerald Sutliff

    The banning of the Dixie Chicks from country music says a great deal about the power of consolidation of former independent radio stations into a few conglomerates. Apparently they’re controlled by neo-conservatives.

  3. Julie

    Like so many others, I, too, detested “cun-tree” music, but when Natalie spoke out, she immediately earned my 100% admiration. I went out and bought three of the Chicks’ albums, and play them repeatedly. Sunday night’s vindication of the Chicks’ right to free speech was long overdue. And let’s hear it for W-O-L-F, the one Nashville C-W station that continued to play the Dixie Chicks’ music during the boycott. It was the only Nashville C-W station which had a booth outside the Gaylord Entertainment Center when the Chicks appeared in concert in Nashville last December. And WHATTA CONCERT IT WAS!!! I had never attended a major concert ( and I’m 65!), and I’ve never applauded so much in my life as I did that night. It’s never too late to stand up for free speech. I LOVE the Dixie Chicks, and so did the sold-out crowd. Talk about waving a red flag under the noses of the Nashville bulls–t C-W stations!

  4. I just LOVE The Dixie Chicks ans was soo soo happy to see them WIN 5 Grammy’s

    I had a difficult time finding their Alblums and by chance stumbled on one at a wholesale store. The problem is that there was only ONE. If there had been more I would have bought all of them.

    Nice to see that their fan base is growing again !!!

  5. Like many of the others, I didn’t know too much about the Dixie Chicks until they came out against the war.

    I do know that it took courage for a C&W group to go against the grain. Good for them and hooray for the five awards.

  6. Larry

    You go girls. Speaking up and voicing your opinion shoiuld never be censored and you are now vindicated. I may not have been a country music fan before but love it now! Hooray for the USA and it’s troops and boo for it’s so-called Bush league administration!

  7. Russ Brandsen

    I have been a Dixie Chicks fan for a long time and wanted others to like the music I enjoyed. I was disapointed when

    the media helped brew up so much controversy for a simple remark about George Bush. Letterman and Leno make fun of Bush EVERY night, I didn’t see anyone boycotting their shows, that would be rediculus right? Yes, but that’s how several country stations treated these true American ladies. I am very happy for the Dixie Chicks, keep the music playing.

  8. gene

    So our president can’t even compete with the dixie chicks. Anyone surprised. Wish they were incharge, who doubts they could do a better job. The joke we call a president continues but soon no one will be laughing.

  9. Allen

    I’m happy for the Chicks as I know the last few years have been rough on them, but what does this say about the American people?

  10. I prefer country music to other genres, but I was ashamed by its reaction to Natalie’s statement in England about Bush. I might have disagreed with when and where she said it, but she did, in fact, have the right to say it and no one had the right to threaten her – particularly the so-called “conservative” country fans. There’s nothing at all conservative about threatening someone’s life!! I am very happy that they’ve been vindicated! I always got a kick out of their somewhat irreverant style. I guess now I’ll need to buy the album!

  11. Who wouldn’t be ashamed of a President that lead this nation into a war that has caused many deaths and injuries, many permanent, wholesale destruction, and debt, by lying? Lets not forget his enablers, many republicans and the media. They should held accountable. In a democracy, all of us should be held accountable.

  12. JimZ

    When I lived in Texas, I didn’t pay attention to the Dixie Chicks at all; I just figured they were another over-hyped Nashville “cun-tree” band (I hate Nashville country music – sorry).

    After Natalie Maines spoke out against Bu$h, I thought, YOU GO GIRL! As a former Texan myself, I felt the same way she/they did on this. So I bought their new CD at the time, and ended up liking it. Now I own 3 Dixie Chicks CD’s.

    I am very happy for them. They showed some balls and will in the long run, continue to be rewarded for it, and for being good music. Kind of typical of Texas; a diverse repertoire.

    I liked how when just after the speak-out incident, they won an award in the Country Music Awards. The Dixie Chicks were still on their European tour, so they video conferenced. Natalie wore a t-shirt that had in big letters “FYTK”

    (F-You Toby Keith). Now thats BALLS!

    I will NEVER buy a Toby Keith CD.

  13. JimZ

    FYI – The Toby Keith reference is he publicly chastised them on TV over the incident; they didn’t have a right to say such things, they’re embolding the “emeny”, etc. (the usual). He basically became the spokesperson for Cun-tree-right wing. I’ll bet the Chicks record company didn’t mind behind closed doors…

  14. duff

    They should have gotten up there and told their fair-weather fans to go screw themseleves and refuse the awards. I’m not, and never have been, a fan of theirs, but they way those so-called patriotic Americans treated them was embarrassing.

  15. Teleri

    I am not a country music fan – especially not modern country – but I have been a fan of the Dixie Chicks since Natalie made her comments.

    I have a darling little cartoon strip cut out (The City) showing a upscale liberal type holding his nose while buying a Dixie Chicks’ album, saying “the lengths I’ll go to support the anti-war movement” hee-hee.

    I’m so glad they won at the Grammy’s! You go girls!



  16. Mike

    It should be noted that as the Dixie Chicks suffered for their opinions, the country artists who sucked up to same mob profitted greatly off the backs of our men and women in the armed services. If you had followed country music the last few years, Toby Keith et al put out a string of God Bless the USA songs, prominently featuring service people in their videos….all for album sales.

    While most of us, including the Dixie Chicks were supporting the troops, these other leechs made money from them.

    Right now, the country music airwaves are finally free of this opportunistic crap.