The Dixie Chicks, who became country music pariahs after the band’s lead singer criticized President Bush in 2003, swept the Grammys on Sunday, winning every award the band was nominated for—five in all—plus a standing ovation.
The trio took home best song for “Not Ready to Make Nice,” a tune that rebuffs the band’s critics.
Excerpt from “Not Ready to Make Nice”:
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
That 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 Dixie Chicks won all five awards they were nominated for, including album of the year for “Taking the Long Way,” and record and song of the year for “Not Ready to Make Nice,” their defiant anthem penned [by] songwriter Dan Wilson. It was sweet vindication after the superstars’ lives were threatened and their record sales plummeted when feisty lead singer Natalie Maines criticized President Bush on the eve of the
Iraq war in 2003. Almost overnight, one of the most successful groups of any genre was boycotted by Nashville and disappeared from country radio.
With “Taking the Long Way,” the women relied on renowned producer Rick Rubin’s guidance for an album that was more rock and less country. (Rubin, who also produced “Stadium Arcadium,” was honored as producer of the year.)
The standing ovations the Chicks received Sunday illustrated how much the political climate has changed regarding the Iraq war, and even Bush.
“That’s interesting,” Maines crowed from the podium after the country award was handed out earlier in the night. “Well, to quote the great ‘Simpsons’—‘Heh-Heh.’
“Just kidding,” added Maines. “A lot of people just turned their TVs off right now. I’m very sorry for that.”
Bandmate Emily Robison noted, “We wouldn’t have done this album without everything we went through, so we have no regrets.”