We all witnessed the fall of the Dixie Chicks. When singer Natalie Maines exclaimed on the eve of the Iraq invasion, she was “…ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas”, It was all downhill from there. Not because most Texans or Americas or even people of the World disagreed with her sentiments, but because of the arrogance.
Even everyday Americans, against the war, knew well enough to “shut up” when it came to publicly expressing feelings that showed a lack of sensitivity toward so many young women and men in fighting for their Country and their lives, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the time, Maines’ comments came off like a spoiled country star, who was high on herself, believing her voice suddenly could be used for something other than singing.
The comments set of a negative firestorm of debate. Public reaction in the United States resulted in a huge loss of respect of country fans and the country music industry in general. Boycotts by country music radio stations and even death threats haunted the band.
In 1999, The People’s Choice Awards handed it’s top country award to the Chicks, as “Best New Artist” however, the awards show, that is decided by viewer voting, now told a distinctly different story with the release of the “comeback” record, “Taking the Long Way” by not even being nominated. Toby Keith WAS nominated, Keith, publicly slammed the Chicks, releasing a song indicating he would “stick a boot up [the Chick’s] ass.”
On the other hand, in 2007, the same Chicks album won five Grammys (Including Album of the Year). The Grammys do not consider viewer votes, only the votes of the close nit and historically politically-incorrect music community.
Even with the Grammys on the mantel, the band could still not recover, losing over half of its concert-going audience. Country radio once keen on the Chicks was now nonexistent. Talk about killing the golden goose, Maines killed a gaggle.