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The Dixie Chicks are a band made up of three women, Natalie Maines (lead singer), and sisters Emily and Martie Erwin. The band initially started back in 1989 with a different lead singer but became a household name in the late 90’s with Natalie as the lead. The Dixie Chicks were extremely popular at their peak earning 10 CMA awards and an astonishing 13 Grammy’s. Some of their most popular songs were “Cowboy Take Me Away“, “Landslide”, and “Without You”.
The Dixie Chicks fame began to take a turn in 2003, when they were touring in London at the time the U.S. called for war against Iraq. On stage, Natalie Maines, told their english fans that they were on the “good” side with them and added that they were ashamed the President of the United States (George W.Bush) was from Texas. Natalie’s statement immediately hit the newsstands and patriotic Country music fans took notice. Toby Keith had a poster made of Natalie Maines with Sadam Hussein and hung it behind him on stage during his tour “Shockin’ Yall” (according to wikipedia).
Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks declared a political war. At the Academy of Country Music awards, the Chicks fired back at Toby Keith. Natalie performed in a white T-shirt that said F.U.T.K. Although it was later confirmed the shirt stood for F.U. Toby Keith, The Chicks claimed it stood for “Freedom, United, Together in Kindness”.
During the war between Toby Keith and The Dixie Chicks, radio stations took sides and began to boycott The Dixie Chicks all-together. Americans were in a very emotional state after September 11th and Country music fans are traditionally both conservative and patriotic. One of The Dixie Chicks final songs was called “Not Ready To Make Nice“. The song spoke volumes and was even performed at the Grammy’s.
Lyrics to Not Ready To Make Nice
I’ve paid a price and I’ll keep paying, I’m not ready to make nice I’m not ready to back down, I’m mad as hell and I don’t have time to go round and round and round. It’s too late to make it right, I probably wouldn’t if I could cause I’m mad as hell and I can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should…I made my bed and I sleep like a baby with no regrets and no I don’t mind sayin, It’s a sad sad story when a mother will teach her daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger, and how in the world can the words I said send somebody so over the edge that they’d write me a letter sayin that I better shut up and sing or my life will be over…
It’s been 9 years since The Dixie Chicks made their initial statement about being ashamed of the President but no forgiveness has been offered. The Dixie Chicks traded their fame and success for their personal and political beliefs. They stuck to their word and never backed down or apologized, but neither did we.
After four years without work, sisters Emily and Martie started their own duo called Court Yard Hounds. They offer a folksy more mellow country sound. To listen to their music check out vevo,youtube or itunes.