1 December 2006
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Music during wartime
The war on Iraq has in many ways affected freedom of musical expression; from The Dixie Chicks receiving death threats and being boycotted by many radio stations, to a new wave of protest music. Below is an extensive collection of links to articles related to music and the war on Iraq.

February 2003:

From BBC: “This is intended to be a musical not a political vote”. Anti-war band Seize The Day dropped from BBC awards

From BBC: Madonna: “I’m not anti-Bush”

From MTV: Shakira calls for peace

From LA Weekly: “Where are the new protest songs?” Extensive article on music and protest

From BBC: Brit Award winners attack war plans

From Drudge Report: At the Grammy Awards Sheryl Crow performed with “No War” written on her guitar strap

From New York Times: The new antiwar songs are virtually absent from commercial radio stations

March 2003:

From BBC: Youssou N’dour has cancelled a tour of North America in protest at a possible US-led war on Iraq

From BBC: Top Of The Pops refused to let George Michael wear a T-shirt bearing the words “No war, Blair out”

From CNN: Dixie Chicks pulled from air after bashing Bush

From BBC: Stars sing out against war

From BBC: A folk song condemning war in Iraq has become one of the biggest underground hits in the Arab world

From BBC: Dixie Chicks albums burned by a Louisiana-based radiostation following their anti-Bush remarks

From ‘Citizens Against Celebrity Pundits: A new US initiative claims “wealthy Hollywood celebrities are abusing their status to speak for us”

From BBC: Robbie Williams has denied a song on his forthcoming single is anti-war

From IndyMedia (NL): Unconfirmed internal memo from MTV Europe regarding what videos should air on MTV during the war

From New York Times: Editorial on Dixie Chicks CD-burning rally and the link between Clear Channel and Bush

From The Guardian: UK radio stations have banned certain records

From NME: BBC pulls song which mentions bandages too often

From Billboard: Radio Reaction To Chicks’ Comments Diminishing

April 2003:

From Rolling Stone: US Army questioned the mother of a Spearhead band member. “The fact that people would be paying this close attention to what we’re doing as musicians is a bit freaky”, says Spearhead frontman Michael Franti

From BBC: Patriotic US anthems vs protest songs – a retrospective view on the debate

From BBC: Madonna has withdrawn a promotional video for her latest single, saying it is “inappropriate” at a time of war

From BBC: “I don’t bang the war drum,” country singer Toby Keith said. “I just don’t trust the next celebrity who thinks they know more about it than I do”

From BBC: The Dixie Chicks have said they fear for their lives following the backlash against singer Natalie Maines’ comments about George Bush

From New York Times: Iraq’s artists strive for freedom

May 2003:

From BBC: Dixie Chicks have angered US radio programmers after singer Natalie Maines’ apparent jibe at fellow country star Toby Keith at an awards ceremony

From BBC: Dixie Chicks booed at music awards

  Freemuse conference on freedom of musical expression
Video: Damon Albarn on music during wartime

Related sections:

Music and politics

See also special report from The Guardian: The arts world and the Iraq war


North Africa, see: Middle East
Ghana, see: Country profile

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