Condemned as the traitors by the American public for telling the London public that they are ashamed that President Bush is from Texas. One of the most renowned country music band of its time, Dixie Chicks suffered a great loss and were punished heavily for speaking out their mind during one of their concerts. Band member Natalie Maines criticised George Bush for his policies towards war and violence. But Maines words backfired and the band lost its popularity overnight with them being blacklisted by the music industry.
#1 Blacklisted From The Industry Over A Single Statement
An American country music band, Dixie Chicks 15 years ago was considered as one of the most famous bands of its time. With their classy style and stand out music, the band bagged popularity in country music. However, the band's popularity plummeted after a single statement, after which Dixie Chicks was blacklisted from the music industry and had to suffer irreparable damage to their career.
#2 Freedom Of Speech Cost Them Their Career
The story dates back to March 10, 2003, when Dixie Chicks, which consists of band members, Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Robison, were performing a concert in London. During this time, invasion of Iraq had been a sensitive issue on the rise. Just before the opening of their song, 'Travelin Soldier' Natalie Maines passed a statement in which the singer, "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."
The statement soon spread like wildfire with media outlets criticising the girls openly for not giving respect to their President of the time.
#3 The Band's Songs Dropped From 10 To 50s In Billboard
Maines was also bashed for passing the comments about their President of the USA outside their country. Maines replied back, "I said it there 'cause that's where I was." The girls were condemned by the public and their reputation soon went downhill with many boycotting the band and within a span of few days, the statement cost the band's song to drop from top 10 to 50s in Billboard.
The band tried their best to mend their relationship with the public and in their next concert Maines tried to clear up the band's image, she said, "I feel the President is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world." But it was all in vain as they were not forgiven by their fans.
#4 Maines Was Forced To Apologize Publicly
When things took turn for the worst, Maines was even forced to apologize publicly and during an interview to the BBC at the time, she said, "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."
#5 The Band Suffered Terrible Finamncial Loses
However, it was almost like the public was not ready to forgive the girls and the band suffered terrible financial loses as a consequence. One of the most terrible anti-band protests was one when the fans of the band were asked to bring their CDs to a demonstration at which they would be crushed by a bulldozer.
Few of the celebrities came forward to support the girls however, they were also soon made to regret their decision. One such singer was Madonna, who tried to support the band on basis of freedom of speech.
#6 Dixie Chicks Made Their Stance Of Freedom Of Speech Through The Photoshoot
All through the damage, with their careers almost destroyed, one would imagine that Maines would have taken her statement back with an apology for her words. But the reality was far from it. On April 24, 2003, the Dixie Chicks came together for an interview with Diane Sawyer. While giving the interview, Maines made it clear that she meant those words and she is not going back on her statement.
A few months later, the girls cleared their stand on the scandal and did a photoshoot which was a shoutout from them telling the world that no matter what their country thinks of them, freedom of speech is their right. The girls did a 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. All these words represented the 'words' which had been used for the band throughout the scandal.
#8 Girls Also Gave A Shutup Call To All Those Who Branded Them As Traitors By Releasing A Song And Giving Their Point Of View Through That
Not only this the girls also released a song in 2006, "Not Ready To Make It Nice," through this song they cleared their point on the whole controversy and made it clear that they are not someone to back down easily and this song was their way to give shut up call to those who were telling them to back down and keep their eyes closed and mouth shut over the truth. The lyrics of the song read:
"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
Sayin’ that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over "
#8 Bush Said He Does Not Care What Dixie Chicks Or Any Other Celebrity Says Anything
In an interview with Tom Brokaw on April 24, George Bush revealed his point on the Dixie Chicks and according to the President at that time, he didn't care what Dixie Chicks or any other Hollywood star thinks about him, as he would do what he thinks is right, "The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind. They can say what they want to say ... they shouldn't have their feelings hurt just because some people don't want to buy their records when they speak out ... Freedom is a two-way street ... I don't really care what the Dixie Chicks said. I want to do what I think is right for the American people, and if some singers or Hollywood stars feel like speaking out, that's fine. That's the great thing about America."
#9 Soon After The Much Hyped Controversy, Things Got Back To Normal But The Band Never Got Its Top Position On Charts Back
Though after some time, the public started to accept the band again and even though they were not able to reach the height of fame again, they were able to get themselves back on the stage again. During their nationwide Top of the World Tour, the girls performed and instead of receiving bashing or any criticism the crowd cheered for the band and they were able to perform quite smoothly.