On Sunday night at the 49th annual Grammy awards, the Dixie Chicks took home five awards, including best album, record and song of the year.
It was a long road, indeed, for the Chicks, whose enormous fan base and ticket sales famously plummeted in 2003 after lead singer Natalie Maines remarked on the eve of the Iraq war that the group was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” Within days, radio stations were refusing to play their music, and fans were demanding refunds. Death threats were later issued.
Throughout the ordeal, the group remained admirably unapologetic, insisting that dissent is (or at least should be) a vital liberty in America. They further maintained this position in their album Taking the Long Way (which won the Grammy for best album) and especially in the song “Not Ready To Make Nice,” in which they directly addressed their critics: “It’s too late to make it right/ I probably wouldn’t if I could/ Cause I’m mad as hell/ Can’t bring myself to do what it is/ You think I should.”