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. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  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 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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