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USA: Dixie Chicks’ triumph over censorship: Five Grammys

12 February 2007
It was a victory over censorship, boycott and death threats when Dixie Chicks ‘swept’ the most prestigious honours in the global music calendar, the Grammy Awards

The news went around the globe: A triumphant comeback for the country trio The Dixie Chicks three years after they caused uproar among many US country music fans for saying they were “ashamed” of President George Bush, resulting in death threats, radio censorship, boycotts, cancelled shows and plunging record sales. They were labelled as “Nashville refugees”. Now – most likely as a result of it all – the group was celebrated with five prizes at the 49th annual Grammy Awards in USA on 11 February 2007.




Their single ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’ – which includes lyrics such as “I’m not ready to back down, I’m still mad as hell, and I don’t have time to go round and round and round” – was named ‘Song of the year’ and ‘Record of the year’. It also picked up ‘Best country performance by a duo or group’. The groups haul at the Grammy ceremony was completed by ‘Best album’ as well as ‘Best country album’ for ‘Taking The Long Way’.

“That’s interesting,” Natalie Maines said on accepting one award. “Well, to quote the great Simpsons: ‘Heh-heh.'”
She laughed, some say “scornfully”, when she accepted the ‘Best country album’ award.
The trio interprets the awards as a reaction to the censorship storm in 2003, documented in the film ‘Shut Up & Sing’ in 2006. Bandmate Emily Robison said: “We wouldn’t have done this album without everything we went through, so we have no regrets.”

Still unpopular in Nashville

The Dixie Chicks are the second highest-selling female group in any musical genre, behind Destiny’s Child. They still don’t stand a chance on country radio, though, reports the several newspapers and agencys. Grammy awards don’t translate to airtime in the world of country music radio:
“Country radio is not going to be responsive to the Dixie Chicks’ Grammy wins because the Grammy voters are music industry professionals, who aren’t reflective of the country radio audience,” said Ed Salamon, executive director of Country Radio Broadcasters to the newspaper The Tennesean.

Death threat in Dallas

During the Dixie Chicks’ 2003 ‘Top of the World’ tour, it was singer Natalie Maines who set off a firestorm on the eve of “shock and awe” when she told British concertgoers: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”
Ex-fans destroyed Chicks CDs en masse during the ensuing “Dixie Chicks Destruction” campaign, concerts were picketed by Red-baiters who called the Chicks “traitors” and “communists,” and the trio confronted a death threat at a Dallas performance, after a letter threatened to shoot Maines in the same city where John F. Kennedy had been gunned down 40 years earlier.

 

 
Dixie Chicks made the headlines again, receiving an extraordinary amount of Grammy awards in 2007
Click to go to Shut Up And Sing
Dixie Chicks on the front cover of the American magazine Entertainment Weekly in 2003 


www.dixiechicks.com
Awarded as ‘Best album’ and ‘Best country album’: Dixie Chicks’ latest CD

 

 
Sources:

Google News:
Search: ‘Dixie Chicks’ + ‘Grammy’

Watch Dixie Chicks’ music video on YouTube.com:
Dixie Chicks: ‘Not Ready To Make Nice’

The Tennesean – 13 February 2007:
‘Country unforgiving to Chicks’

Blog discussion by Dan Kennedy – 14 February 2007:
‘The Dixie Chicks and Clear Channel’

Official web site of the documentary “Shut Up & Sing” – “the largest discussion of free speech the Web has ever seen”:
myspace.com/shutupandsing

‘Shut Up & Post’ – “The destination for blogging about Dixie Chicks and Free Speech”:
shutupandpost.com

Geoffrey Dickens’ blog – Interview with Dixie Chicks about censorship, etc:
‘Dixie Chicks Whine About Being Put on Free Republic’s ‘Hate List’

Dixie Chicks’ official website:
dixiechicks.com
   
 
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