Ready to Make Nice? The Dixie Chicks Back on Tour

635832819257889654-dixie-chicksThe infamous Dallas-based Dixie Chicks, after 13 years in hiding, are finally scheduled to be back on tour this upcoming summer, just in time for the the 2016 presidential election. In case your memory has faded over the past decade, in 2003 many radio stations and fans criticized and boycotted the all-female band after lead singer, Natalie Maines, spoke out against the Iraq War and president at the time, George W. Bush, during the band’s London, England tour. The news quickly spread back to the states, with Natalie saying, “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.” A substantial portion of fans and country music patriots alike were infuriated. Many of those offended by the comments reacted immediately, requesting that the Dixie Chicks songs stop receiving air-time.

After receiving a barrage of complaints, many station managers complied and pulled the Dixie Chicks songs off the air. A station in Kansas City, Missouri even went as far as holding a “chicken toss” party encouraging people to dump the group’s tapes, CDs and concert tickets into trash cans. The reaction to Maines’s words was fast acting and extreme. The trio began receiving death threats as well. The conservative country music crowd was outraged by comments they found unpatriotic.

In response to the harsh backlash, the band received from Maines’ comment in London, in 2006, they released the song “Not Ready to Make Nice.” The song reflected how they felt about the controversy, the banning of their songs from country music radio stations, and freedom of speech.

“I made my bed, and I sleep like a baby
With no regrets, and I don’t mind saying
It’s a sad, sad story
When a mother will teach her daughter
That she ought to hate a perfect stranger
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Saying that I better
Shut up and sing
Or my life will be over?”

The song became a huge hit, reaching number four on the billboard hot 100. MadTv even made a parody of the song. Later that year, they also made a documentary called Shut Up and Sing, which followed the girls as they dealt with the controversy. Even though the controversy is still largely associated with the band, since the results of the war, many feel that Maines comments were redeemed. Now 13 years after her initial comments, the band is finally going back on tour, and some might say just in time for the 2016 election. Lead singer Maines has not refrained from entering political controversy, offering her two cents on the Texas candidate Ted Cruz. This time, however, many of her comments are being met with applause. So will the upcoming election help or hurt their US tour, will people be more understanding, will they be met with huge crowds again? I am sure excited to find out.


Filed under Blog Post 3, Dixie Chicks, Politics

7 Responses to Ready to Make Nice? The Dixie Chicks Back on Tour

  1. Julie Kleberg

    I was so excited reading this post because when someone mentioned in class the other day that they were coming back, I had no idea. I was dying to know more about it so I was pumped to see you chose to write about them. The Dixie Chicks are so talented and while they messed up, Im glad they didn’t quit because they really do know how to make some great music. I encourage you to go watch the documentary about them, Shut up and Sing. It goes into the whole scandal, what they went through, how they dealt with it, and answers all the looming questions we had about it. They are great and I’m so glad they’re making a come back! great post!

  2. Timothy Harakal

    Thanks for this informative read! It really is amazing just how much diversity there is within the vast array of things country songs talk about. What I appreciate about the songs you’ve discussed is that they go way deeper than surface-level talk about dirt roads, beer, and love, choosing to talk about the more uncomfortable political and controversial side of things. These kind of songs truly do have the potential to inspire more action than any other not-so-deep songs do. Here’s to hoping the Dixie Chicks new music will have deep meaning and inspire action, that they won’t be afraid to speak out based on what happened a decade or so ago (although that surely will always hold some level of influence).

  3. Mae

    I was so excited that someone decided to write this as a post! I have been all over this tour announcement since it was first made, and I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to see someone in my whole life. The Dixie Chicks are probably my favorite band in history, and I can tell by your posts and your discussions in class how much you adore them too! I feel like their controversy was sad and bad when it happened, but their audience is so wide ranged and their music is so impactful that I am sure they will be able to make this comeback and be better than ever. Besides the politics and the backlash, their fan base is so strong and dedicated that I’m sure people will push aside the history and see them perform like they used to. Emily Robison’s kids actually went to my school in San Antonio and I would see her on campus from time to time, and it would always make me sad because of how much I adored the band I always wanted them to continue what they did best. I am so excited to see them again after what I can’t believe to be 13 years!!

  4. It is hard to say who won the imaginary war between Bush and the Dixie Chicks. Their opposition to the war in Iraq pretty much ended their career (despite the great 2006 album), so for a time it seemed like they were the big losers. BUT here we are in 2016, when the Bush “brand” is so universally unpopular that Jeb Bush was washed out of the presidential race within the first few contests, and the Dixie Chicks are planning a comeback. I will be curious to see (a) if they record any new music and (b) if radio actually plays it.

  5. Cassidy Wilson

    This article caught my eye because my love for the Dixie Chicks was rekindled this past month. I can’t stop listening to their old songs. I even got one of my country music opposing friends to take interest in them as well. I am so excited for them to tour again. I think it has been long enough to where people can start appreciating their music again and stop remembering them just because of their comments to Bush. It will be interesting to see the turn-out at their concerts and how their performance might address the election that is going on right now. So far it seems like a lot of people are excited for their tour, and I am one of them!

  6. Brittney Haynes

    I haven’t ever really been a Dixie Chicks fan, but after reading this article I love them. Well, not their music yet, but their attitude and courage to stand up for what they believe in. I never heard about the controversy behind Maine’s comment, but I can’t believe people went as far as sending them death threats. I mean she just gave her opinion, she didn’t threaten the president or anything. It wasn’t that big of a deal to me. Many people didn’t agree with the war, but I guess the cost of being famous means you can’t have an opinion that doesn’t sit well with some of the population. I like how they still made a hit on the “Not ready to make Nice” song! Now I’m going to have to go and listen to some of their songs and become a fan! lol This post was very informative, and I can’t wait to see how their new tour turns out!

  7. Shira Yoram

    I was really excited to see a post about the Dixie Chicks. I was given one of their albums in elementary school and used to listen to them on repeat. At the time of the controversy I was too young to understand why the Dixie Chicks weren’t making any new music after their song “Not Ready To Make Nice.” When I was old enough to comprehend what happened I was very upset. But luckily they are coming back and I’m so thrilled! Hopefully this means new music will be coming soon too!!

Leave a Reply