Taking the Long Way is the seventh studio album by the Dixie Chicks, an American country music band. It was released on May 23, 2006 in the U.S. and on June 12, 2006 worldwide. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. It sold over 2 million copies in the U.S., being certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America as of July 11, 2007. It won 5 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year in February 2007.
The first song released from the album was the charity single "I Hope" on September 2005. The song received its debut performance on the Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast telethon on September 9, 2005 and was later made available as a digital download single with proceeds to benefit the Hurricane Katrina relief.
The first physical single from the album, "Not Ready to Make Nice", was released in March 2006. On May 18, 2006, the whole album was leaked onto various file sharing mediums.
Taking the Long Way was the first studio album the band released since the controversy that erupted over them in 2003 following Natalie Maines' remarks critical of then-United States President George W. Bush. The controversy and the Chicks' reaction to it is the major theme at the first tracks of the album.
The first track is "The Long Way Around" which is a manifesto to non-conformity, presented with allusions to The Byrds' "Wasn't Born to Follow" as well as the Chicks' own "Long Time Gone" and "Top of the World." The song also included a direct reference to the backlash and subsequent fall from the charts they experienced during the 2003 Top of the World Tour. The second track is "Easy Silence", a testimonial to the protagonist's husband, who affords her an island of quiet companionship and love in the midst of turmoil. The third track, and first single, "Not Ready to Make Nice", offers an angry statement of purpose and resolve, and makes direct reference to isolated incidents the Chicks encountered following Maines' comments. The fourth track "Everybody Knows" is a return to the classic Chicks sound, but enmeshed in an aura of vulnerabilities and ambivalences.
Track 6 "Lullaby" was featured prominently in the Medium Episode "Twice Upon a Time," Season 2 Episode 22, which first aired on May 22, 2006, the night before the album release date.
Track 9 "Favorite Year" was written with the collaboration of Sheryl Crow, while track ten "Voice Inside My Head" was written with the collaboration of Linda Perry.
Closing track "I Hope", is a song written with Keb' Mo' for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and it was first performed on the Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast telethon in 2005. The song features a guitar solo from John Mayer.
Selections from the album were prominently featured in the Chicks' subsequent Accidents & Accusations Tour, which included an unprecedented number of Canadian dates. A lot of the album tracks are featured in the Dixie Chicks rockumentary, Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing, alongside 3 non-album cuts; "The Neighbor", "Baby Love" and "Whatever It Takes".
The Neighbor was later released as a stand-alone single single, in support of the rockumentary Shut up and Sing.
On May 31, 2006, the album took three number one spots on the charts of Billboard magazine. It was number one on the Hot Country Albums, Top Digital Albums, and on the Billboard 200 chart, going Gold in its first week with 526,000 units sold.
The second week, the album stayed in the top spot while taking a 48% decline, selling 271,000 units and bringing the album sales total to 797,000 units.
In its third and fourth weeks, the album dropped to number two on the chart. During weeks five, six, and seven, the album remained as one of the top five albums in the country. During its eighth week, due to several high-profile new releases, the album was pushed out of the top ten to number eleven. However, on week nine, the album bounced back into the top ten. The album has sold 2,290,489 copies in the US as of July 11, 2007.
In Canada, the album was a huge success, staying on the top of the album charts for 4 weeks and 18 weeks on the country album charts. It has sold 292,639 copies there, making it 2x platinum. At the year end charts, Taking The Long Way was the second best selling album of the year in Canada.
The album has also done well in Australia becoming their highest charting album peaking at #2 and has since gone double platinum (140,000), the album has also spent thirty non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the Australian Country Chart and is yet to peak lower than the top 10 more than 40 weeks after its release. Taking the Long Way came in at #20 on the Australian End Of Year Album Charts for 2006. It also finished at #1 on the Australian End Of Year Country Charts for 2006, the lead single "Not Ready To Make Nice", finished at #96 on the End Of Year Single Charts.
As of January 2007, Taking the Long Way is certified 2x platinum by the RIAA in the U.S. Many people say that the drop in album sales is due to radio airplay, or lack thereof, which is partly correct. However, a decline in album sales across the board makes up for much of the difference.
Right after the Dixie Chicks won five Grammy Awards and performed "Not Ready to Make Nice" at the 49th ceremony, the album and the single reached the #1 spot on the U.S. iTunes Music Store. On February 21, it was announced by Billboard that the album sales increased 714% (rocketing from position #72 to #8) with sales of 103,000 copies, compared with only 12,700 copies sold on the week before. On the Canadian charts, the post-Grammy Awards week saw the album rocket up from position #27 to #5, with 9,000 copies sold.
Taking The Long Way was very successful in Europe, which has never been an easy market for country music, reaching the top position in Sweden and entering in the top ten in Germany(#5), Austria (#7), Switzerland (#6), Ireland (#7), Norway (#6) and in the UK (#7), becoming their most successful album in Europe to date.
The website Metacritic gave the album a score of 72 out of 100 based on 18 reviews, signifying generally favorable reviews. The users gave the album a score of 8.1 out of 10 based on 121 votes. According to the website, it is behind Home as the second most well-rated album of the band by the critics (the users gave Home a poor 5.8 score).
On December 11, Taking the Long Way appeared at #19 on the Rolling Stone list of the top 50 albums of the year: "The Dixie Chicks respond to their rough past few years with brass balls: This disc shows they didn't regret speaking out against the Iraq War, and Natalie Maines sounds almost punk at times. There is also a whole lot of craft -- (Taking the) Long Way is a widescreen pop record with gorgeous country rock, killer power ballads and fierce honky-tonk." Time elected Taking the Long Way the fifth best album released in 2006 according to the magazine's music critics: "The incident", as they call it, took a commercial toll, but musically the Chicks have never been stronger. The instrumentation on their fourth album keeps a toe in country, yet the songs are the best kind of pop—smart, instantly memorable and fussed over until they sound effortless. "Not Ready to Make Nice" broadcasts their grievances, but "Bitter End" and "So Hard" (a sing-along about infertility) prove that complicated songwriting for the masses still flourishes."
USA Today elected Taking the Long Way the best album of the year according to the publication's music experts, writing, "It was a calculated risk that paid off. Having alienated much of their country constituency with an ill-timed jibe at President Bush, the Chicks declined to beg for forgiveness, defiantly forging ahead with a forthright description of their situation and attitude, "Not Ready to Make Nice", and releasing it as the album's lead-off single. That alienated even more of the country base, but throngs of new fans — and the majority of USA Today's critics — were enthralled by the stance and, more important, the rich, textured, genre-transcendent music the trio and producer Rick Rubin cooked up." Billboard magazine chose Taking the Long Way as one of 2006's fifteen best albums writing, "Once the darlings of country, the Chicks lost many fans — and the support of country radio — after a 2003 incident in which Natalie Maines made a relatively innocuous comment about President Bush from a London stage. The group has finally re-emerged stronger, more defiant and more creatively ambitious than ever. The first-time pairing with Rubin has resulted in a surprisingly cohesive mix of country and rock tunes, including co-writes with Sheryl Crow and Neil Finn. While many former fans remain critical of the group for its outspoken political views — an apparent no-no in country music — tracks like "The Long Way Around", "Everybody Knows", "I Hope" (highlighted by a John Mayer guitar solo) and the chillingly sad "Voice Inside My Head" are sure to earn the group at least some of its fans back."
Awards and nominations
On December 6, 2005, the first single released from the album, "I Hope", was nominated for the 48th Grammy Awards in two categories (Best Country Song and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal). On February 8, 2006, it lost both awards to Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna, Marcus Hummon and Alison Krauss and Union Station, respectively.
On December 7, 2006, Taking the Long Way was nominated for the 49th Grammy Awards in two categories (Album of the Year, Best Country Album), and the single "Not Ready to Make Nice" was nominated in three categories (Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal). On February 11, 2007, the band won the awards in all of the five categories. Producer Rick Rubin was awarded Producer of the Year for his work with this and other albums.
On April 1, 2007, the album won the Juno Award for International Album of the Year.
*Natalie Maines – Lead vocals, background vocals, omnichord
*Martie Maguire – Violin, viola, mandolin, strings, background vocals, string arrangements
*Emily Robison – Banjo, Acoustic and electric guitar,papoose, accordion, sitar, background vocals
*Mike Campbell – Electric and acoustic guitar
*Lenny Castro – Percussion
*Richard Dodd – Cello
*Marvin Etzioni – Mandolin
*Larry Knechtel – Piano, organ, wurlitzer
*Gary Louris – Electric and acoustic guitar, background vocals
*Lloyd Maines – Pedal steel guitar, mandolin, omnichord
*John Mayer – Electric and acoustic guitar
*David Campbell - string arrangements
*Gerardo Hilera – strings
*Smokey Hormel – acoustic guitar, electric guitar
*Bonnie Raitt – Background vocals
*Benmont Tench – piano, harmonium, harpsichord, Hammond organ, Farfisa organ, wurlitzer, tack piano
*Chris Testa – xylophone, orchestral chimes
*Chad Smith – Drums
*Dan Wilson – Electric and acoustic guitar, piano, bass, background vocals
Category:Dixie Chicks albums
Category:Albums produced by Rick Rubin
Category:Columbia Records albums
Category:Grammy Award for Album of the Year
is:Taking the Long Way
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fi:Taking the Long WayThis text has been derived from Taking the Long Way on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
The Dixie Chicks are an acclaimed American alternative country band with a wide crossover appeal into other genres. The band is currently composed of founding members (and sisters) Martie Erwin Maguire, Emily Erwin Robison and, lead singer Natalie Maines. The band formed in 1989 in Dallas, Texas and was originally composed of four women performing bluegrass and country music, busking and touring the bluegrass festival circuits and small venues for six years, without attracting a major label. After the departure of one bandmate, the replacement of their lead singer, and a slight change in their repertoire, the Dixie Chicks achieved massive country music and pop success, beginning in 1998 with hit songs like "Wide Open Spaces", "Cowboy Take Me Away", and "Long Time Gone". The women also became well-known for their independent spirit and controversial comments on subjects such as war and politics.
During a London concert ten days before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, lead vocalist Maines said, "we don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas" (the Dixie Chicks' home state). The statement offended some people, who thought it rude and unpatriotic, and the ensuing controversy cost the band half of their concert audience attendance in the United States and led to accusations of the three women being "un-American", as well as hate mail, a death threat, and the public destruction of their albums in protest.
As of 2009, they have won 13 Grammy Awards, with 5 of them earned in 2007 including the coveted Grammy Award for Album of the Year for Taking The Long Way. As of July 2010, with 30.5 million certified albums, and sales of 26,733,000 albums in the U.S., they have become the top selling all-female band in the U.S. during the Nielsen SoundScan era.
1989–95: Original bluegrass group
The Dixie Chicks were founded by Laura Lynch on upright bass, guitarist Robin Lynn Macy, and the multi-instrumentalist sisters Martie and Emily Erwin in 1989. (The Erwin sisters have since married and changed their names. Martie had a short-lived marriage from 1995–1999 during which she was known as Martie Seidel, though in 2001, she remarried and the sisters are now known as Martie Maguire and Emily Robison.) The four took their band name from the song "Dixie Chicken" by Lowell George of Little Feat,Tarnow, Noah Dixie Chicks Rolling Stone Magazine; 12/01/98 Issue 801, pg.37
originally playing predominantly bluegrass and a mix of country standards. All four women played and sang, though Maguire and Robison provided most of the instrumental accompaniment for the band while Lynch and Macy shared lead vocals. Maguire primarily played fiddle, mandolin, and viola, while Robison's specialties included five-stringed banjo and dobro.
In 1990, the Dixie Chicks paid $5,000 ($ in current dollar terms) for a first independent studio album with the name, Thank Heavens for Dale Evans,Brooks, Robert (Retrieved 25 Mar 2008) named after the pioneering, multi-talented female performer Dale Evans. The album included two instrumental tunes. In 1987, Maguire (still known then as Martie Erwin) had won second place, and in 1989, third place in the National fiddle championships held at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. A Christmas single was released at the end of the year – a 45 RPM vinyl record rirled Home on the Radar Range, with "Christmas Swing" on one side and the song on the flip side named "The Flip Side". The record titles were significant; during that period of time, the bandmates dressed up as "cowgirls", and publicity photos reflected this image. However, even with an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, with few exceptions, such as Garrison Keillor's radio show on NPR, A Prairie Home Companion,Clark, Renee they didn't get much national airplay.
The Dixie Chicks began building up a fan base, winning the prize for "best band" at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and opening for established country music artists, including such big names in that genre as Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire, and George Strait.
In 1992, a second independent album, Little Ol' Cowgirl, moved towards a more contemporary country sound, as the band enlisted the help of more sidemen, and developed a richer sound with larger and more modern arrangements. Robin Lynn Macy was not pleased with their change in sound, however. She left in late 1992 to devote herself to a "purer" bluegrass sound, remaining active in the Dallas and Austin music scenes."8 Note Online" Retrieved 10 Feb 2008 It was during this period that professional steel guitarist Lloyd Maines (who had played on both albums) introduced them to his daughter, Natalie, an aspiring singer. Lloyd Maines thought his daughter a good match to replace the departed Macy, and had passed along Natalie's audition demo tape, which had won her a full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, to both Maguire and Robison.Redbook (Retrieved 23 March 2008) Her distinctive voice was a match for Maguire's soprano and Robison's alto harmonies.As Maguire and Robison considered their options and the major record labels waffled over whether they should take a risk on an all-woman band, a few reviewers took note of their talents:
"Some record label executives will be kicking themselves soon enough when the Dixie Chicks are queens of the honky-tonk circuit. If their show at the Birchmere last week was any indication, these Chicks have what it takes to make the big time, yet no major label has taken the plunge to sign them." Eric Brace, The Washington Post 30 Mar 1992Brace, Eric (Retrieved 28 Mar 2008)
Lynch, thrust into the role of sole lead singer on their third independent album, Shouldn't a Told You That in 1993, was unable to attract support from a major record label, and the band struggled to expand their fan base beyond Texas and Nashville.
New manager Simon Renshaw approached music executive Scott Siman and he signed them to a developmental deal with Sony Music Entertainment's Nashville division. The deal was finalized with Sony over the summer of 1995. The Chicks then replaced Lynch with singer Maines.Dickerson, James L. (2000) Dixie Chicks: Down-Home and Backstage. Taylor Trade Publishing, Dallas, Texas. ISBN 0-87833-189-1. Accounts of the departure have varied. At the time, the sisters stated that Lynch had been considering leaving the band for over a year, weary of touring, and hoping to spend more time with her daughter at home. She offered to stay for the first cuts on the new album for Sony, but the sisters thought it would send the wrong message to the label; they all agreed she would leave before the new album. In a later interview, Lynch said, "It can't really be characterized as a resignation. There are three Dixie Chicks, and I'm only one." By her own account Lynch "cried every day for six months" after the change.
1997–2000: Commercial success with Wide Open Spaces and Fly
In any case, with the addition of Natalie Maines, the new lineup had a more contemporary sound, as well as a new look, leaving their cowgirl dresses with their past, giving the band a broader appeal. Renshaw sent staff producer Blake Chancey to Austin to work with the band.
After Maines joined the band, the instrumental lineup was essentially the same, though Maines was not an acoustic bassist. Instead, she played acoustic and electric guitar, and occasionally electric bass guitar or papoose in concert. She sang lead vocals, with Maguire and Robison singing backing vocals. Robison was now contributing to the band's sound, adding guitar, accordion, sitar, and papoose to her mastery of the five-string banjo and dobro, while Maguire began adding guitar, viola, and mandolin chops more frequently to her expert fiddle. The sisters welcomed the change; Maguire said, "It's very rootsy, but then Natalie comes in with a rock and blues influence. That gave Emily and a chance to branch out, because we loved those kinds of music but felt limited by our instruments."
Within the next year, Sony came to Austin to see the revamped Chicks and committed to sign them to a long-term deal and they were selected as the first new artist on the newly revived Monument Records label. A single "I Can Love You Better" was released in October 1997, and reached the Top 10 on American country music charts, while the new lineup recorded the rest of their debut album. Wide Open Spaces was released on January 23, 1998.Official Band Website Over the space of a year, the next three singles from Wide Open Spaces reached first place on the Country charts: "There's Your Trouble", "You Were Mine", and the title track, "Wide Open Spaces"; a song reflecting youthful yearning for independence, and possibilities yet undiscovered; and increasingly, the majority of fans became young women. Lines like these brought forth a yearning from their public:
:She needs wide open spaces,
:Room to make her big mistakes
:She needs new faces;
:She knows the high stakes
: -"Wide Open Spaces" by Susan Gibson
This first album for the current band added a widespread audience to their original loyal following, entering the top five on both country and pop chartsSmith, Chris "100 Albums You Need To Own" with initial sales of 12 million copies in the country music arena alone, taking the record for the best-selling duo or group album in country music history.Ankeny, Jason As of 2008, the 12 million copies sold worldwide of Wide Open Spaces made it a diamond certified album. Retrieved 9 May 2008
In 1998, the Dixie Chicks sold more CDs than all other country music groups combined.Elle Magazine.com Big Country music took note of the Chicks, awarding them the Horizon Award for new artists in 1998, given to those who have "demonstrated the most significant creative growth and development in overall chart and sales activity, live performance professionalism and critical media recognition".
By 1999, the album won the new lineup their first Grammy Awards as well as acclaim from the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, and other high profile awards.
The Dixie Chicks released another album, Fly, on August 31, 1999, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts selling over 10 million copies, and making the Dixie Chicks the only country band and the only female band of any genre to hold the distinction of having earned two repeat RIAA certified diamond albums, back-to-back. Nine singles emerged from it, including country No. 1's "Cowboy Take Me Away" and "Without You". Because of this success, the Dixie Chicks have albums that have continued to place in the list of the 50 best-selling albums in American history, over a half-decade after they were released.Willman, Chris Rednecks & Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music By Chris Willman, 2005 pg. 21–23 ISBN 1-59558-017-4 Fly again won Grammy awards and honors from the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, and a humbling number of honors from a variety of other sources for their accomplishments.Retrieved 3 Feb 2008 The band headlined their first tour, the Fly Tour, with guest artists including Joe Ely and Ricky Skaggs appearing at each show, Dixie Chicks Official site and additionally joined Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and other female artists on the all-woman touring Lilith Fair.Willman, Chris, 27 July 1999 . Retrieved 8 July 2008.
The source of Dixie Chicks' commercial success during this time came from various factors: they wrote or co-wrote about half of the songs on Wide Open Spaces and Fly; their mixture of bluegrass, mainstream country music, blues, and pop songs appealed to a wide spectrum of record buyers, and where the women had once dressed as "cowgirls" with Lynch, their dress was now more contemporary.
"Cowboy Take Me Away", from Fly, became another signature song, written by Maguire to celebrate her sister's romance with country singer Charlie Robison, whom Emily subsequently married, exchanging her surname for Robison. However, a few of their songs brought controversy within their conservative country music fan base, and two songs caused some radio stations to remove the Chicks from their playlists: "Sin Wagon", from which the term "mattress dancing" takes on a new twist, and "Goodbye Earl", a song that uses black comedy in telling the story of the unabashed murderer of an abusive husband. (The band later made a video portraying the nefarious deed, with actor Dennis Franz playing the murdered husband). In an interview, Maines commented about Sony worrying about the reference to "mattress dancing" on the song, "Sin Wagon", refusing to discuss it in interviews. She said, "Our manager jokes, 'You can't say mattress dancing, but they love the song about premeditated first degree murder'! She continues, " ... so it's funny to us that "mattress dancing" is out and murder is in!"Willman, Chris 23 Sept 1999 Although there were some disagreements regarding such songs, the trio were consistently unapologetic.
2001–02: Record label dispute and Home
After the commercial success of their first two albums, the band became involved in a dispute with their record label, Sony, regarding accounting procedures, alleging that in at least 30 cases Sony had used fraudulent accounting practices, underpaying them at least $4 million (£2.7m) in royalties on their albums over the previous three years.BBC News Wednesday, 29 August 2001 . Retrieved 26 June 2008. Sony held out, and the trio walked away, with Sony suing the group for failure to complete their contract.(Retrieved 13 June 2008) The Chicks responded with their own $4.1-million lawsuit against Sony Music Entertainment on August 27,Rolling Stone Magazine, Dixie Chicks Sue Sony; Band says label owes them millions in royalties Posted 28 Aug 2001 . Retrieved 30 June 2008. which added clout to claims made by singers Courtney Love, Aimee Mann, and LeAnn Rimes against the recording industry. After months of negotiation, the Chicks settled their suit privately, and were awarded their own record label imprint, Open Wide Records, which afforded them more control, a better contract, and an increase in royalty money, with Sony still responsible for marketing and distribution of albums.Leggett, Steve (Retrieved 9 Mar 2008)
During the time that they worked with Sony to reconcile their differences, the Dixie Chicks debuted their quiet, unadorned song "I Believe in Love" on the America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The three women found themselves home, in Texas, each happily married, planning families, and writing songs closer to their roots, without the usual pressures of the studio technicians from the major labels. The songs they didn't write were solicited from songwriters who wrote with a less commercial emphasis.Hermes, Will Retrieved 20 Apr 2008
The result was that Home, independently produced by Lloyd Maines and the Chicks, was released August 27, 2002. Unlike the Chicks' two previous records, Home is dominated by up-tempo bluegrass and pensive ballads; and Emmylou Harris added her vocals to "Godspeed". In addition, the text of the opening track and first single, "Long Time Gone", was a pointed criticism of contemporary country music radio, accusing it of ignoring the soul of the genre as exemplified by Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams. "Long Time Gone" became the Chicks' first top ten hit on the U.S. pop singles chart and peaked at #2 on the country chart, becoming a major success. Over six million copies of Home were sold in the United States.
Home also won Grammy awards, and other noteworthy accolades as before, though it fell short of reaching the diamond record status of the first two albums. Natalie Maines said afterward, "I want to check the record books and see how many fathers and daughters have won Grammys together".
By 2002, the Dixie Chicks were featured on two television specials: An Evening with the Dixie Chicks, which was an acoustic concert primarily composed of the material from Home, and a CMT three-hour television special, the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music. Ranked #13 out of 40, they were "selected by hundreds of artists, music historians, music journalists and music industry professionals — looking at every aspect of what a great artist is".Retrieved 13 June 2008
2003–05: Political controversy
Dixie Chicks by ViVr 016.jpgthumbleftMaines, left, and Robison, right, at the Royal Albert Hall, 2003
During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, the Dixie Chicks performed in concert in London on March 10, 2003, at the Shepherd's Bush Empire theatre in England. This concert kicked off their Top of the World Tour. During the introduction to their song "Travelin' Soldier", Natalie Maines, who along with Robison and Maguire was also a native of Texas, said:
The comment about United States President George W. Bush, who had served as the 46th Governor of the State of Texas from 1995 to 2000 prior to his election to the Presidency, was reported in The Guardians review of the Chicks concert.Clarke, Betty (2003). Guardian Unlimited . Retrieved 2007-01-22. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. media picked up the story and controversy erupted.Campbell, Duncan (2003). Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2006-04-13.
Maines's remark sparked intense criticism;Cusic, Don & Szatmary, Peter (Summer 2009), "O'er the Land of the Free and the Home of Country Music", Phi Kappa Phi Forum, p. 22 . conservative media commentators claimed that she should not criticize President Bush on foreign soil. Maines responded, "I said it there 'cause that's where I was."
The comment by Maines angered many country music fans and was financially damaging. Following the uproar and the start of a boycott of Dixie Chicks' music, which, in turn, caused the Chick's cover of "Landslide" to fall sharply from #10 down to #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single week. It dropped out of the entire chart the following week. Maines attempted to clarify matters on March 12 by saying, "I feel the President is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world.", WCVB (Boston), retrieved June 17, 2008
The statement failed to appease her critics, and Maines issued an apology on March 14: "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers' lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American.", BBC News, March 20, 2003, retrieved October 30, 2006 CNN, March 14, 2003, retrieved April 9, 2007
While some people were disappointed that Maines apologized at all, others still dropped their support of Dixie Chicks (including their sponsor Lipton). In one famous anti-Dixie Chicks display, former fans were encouraged to bring their CDs to a demonstration at which they would be crushed by a bulldozer. In one poll by an Atlanta radio station, 76 percent listeners who participated responded "if I could, I'd take my CDs back". Bruce Springsteen and Madonna both felt compelled to come out in support of the right of the band to express their opinions freely; however, Madonna herself postponed and then altered the April 1 release of her "American Life" video in which she threw a hand grenade toward a Bush look-alike, after witnessing the backlash against the Chicks.Havrilesky, Heather, , retrieved June 16, 2008
, NBC-6, April 24, 2003, retrieved June 16, 2008
One exception to the list of Dixie Chicks opponents was country music veteran and vociferous Iraq war opponent Merle Haggard, who in the summer of 2003 released a song critical of US media coverage of the Iraq War. On July 25, 2003, the Associated Press reported him saying:
On April 24, 2003, the Dixie Chicks launched a publicity campaign to explain their position. During a prime-time interview with TV personality Diane Sawyer, Maines said she remained proud of her original statement. The band also appeared naked (with private parts strategically covered) on the May 2 cover of Entertainment Weekly magazine, with slogans such as "Traitors", "Saddam's Angels", "Dixie Sluts", "Proud Americans", "Hero", "Free Speech", and "Brave" printed on their bodies. The slogans represented the labels (both positive and negative) that had been placed on them in the aftermath of Maines's statement.
President Bush responded to the controversy in an interview with Tom Brokaw on April 24:
Meanwhile, the Chicks were preparing for their nationwide Top of the World Tour; some general death threats led them to install metal detectors at the shows. At the first concert on the tour, the group received a positive reception. Held in Greenville, South Carolina on May 1, it was attended by a sell-out crowd of 15,000 (tickets for most of the shows had gone on sale before the controversy erupted). The women arrived prepared to face opposition — and Maines invited those who had come to boo to do so — but the crowd erupted mostly in cheers. The degree of hatred directed toward the Chicks included a specific death threat against Maines in Dallas that led to a police escort to the July 6 show and from the show directly to the airport.
A Colorado radio station suspended two of its disc jockeys on May 6 for playing music by the Dixie Chicks. On May 22, at the Academy of Country Music awards ceremony in Las Vegas, there were boos when the bands nomination for Entertainer of the Year award was announced. However, the broadcast's host, Vince Gill, reminded the audience that everyone is entitled to freedom of speech. The Academy gave the award to Toby Keith, who had been engaged in a public feud with Maines ever since she had denounced his number one hit "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)" as "ignorant" the year before.Gilbert, Calvin (June 20, 2003), , CMT.com, retrieved March 17, 2007 On May 21, 2003, Maines wore a T-shirt with the letters "FUTK" on the front at the Academy of Country Music Awards. A spokesperson for the Dixie Chicks said that the acronym stood for "Friends United in Truth and Kindness", but many, including awards host Gill, took it to be a shot at Keith ("Fuck You Toby Keith"), and many former Dixie Chicks fans responded by wearing T-shirts with "FUDC" on the front. In an October 2004 appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher, Maines acknowledged disagreements with Keith, and said that when she wore the shirt she "thought that nobody would get it".
A few months after Maines's comment about Bush, the Chicks performed and donated $10,000 for Rock the Vote, a website designed to encourage young adults to register to vote. Maines said, "We always felt like we were searching for ways to make an impact outside of music ... I believe everything that's happened in the last few months happened for a reason. A lot of positive things have come from it, and this is just one of them. We're very dedicated and motivated about this now."Devenish, Colin. , Rolling Stone, July 22, 2003. Retrieved August 19, 2008.
In the fall of 2003, the Dixie Chicks starred in a television commercial for Lipton Original Iced Tea, which made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the corporate blacklisting and the grassroots backlash. In the ad, the Chicks are about to give a stadium concert when the electricity suddenly goes out; they continue anyway, performing an a cappella version of "Cowboy Take Me Away" to the raving cheers of the fans.
DixieChicksMSG062003.jpgthumbleft274pxDixie Chicks performing at Madison Square Garden on June 20, 2003, during the Top of the World Tour
In a September 2003 interview, band member Martie Maguire told the German magazine Der Spiegel: "We don't feel a part of the country scene any longer, it can't be our home anymore." She noted a lack of support from country stars, and being shunned at the 2003 ACM Awards. "Instead, we won three Grammys against much stronger competition. So we now consider ourselves part of the big rock 'n' roll family." Some fans were dismayed, but the group made no clear response.
The same year, the American Red Cross refused a $1 million promotional partnership from the Dixie Chicks. The organization did not publicize the refusal; it was revealed by the Chicks themselves in a May 2006 interview on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio. According to National Red Cross spokesperson Julie Thurmond Whitmer, the band would have made the donation "only if the American Red Cross would embrace the band's summer tour". Whitmer further said:
According to the Red Cross, the Dixie Chicks had not responded to two offers to join the National Celebrity Cabinet of the Red Cross prior to the controversy. Little more than a year later, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita battered the Gulf Coast, with the group's home state of Texas directly in the wake of the disaster. In September 2005, the Dixie Chicks debuted their song "I Hope" in the Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast telethon. The song was one of only two performed at the concert that was not donated for the subsequent DVD.The other was Kelly Clarkson's "Shelter". title=Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast DVD specsThis text has been derived from Dixie Chicks on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0