The Dixie Chicks No Longer Feel Like They’re Part of the Country Music Community
The Dixie Chicks held nothing back in a recent interview with Allure. Covering the popular publication’s new issue, the trio…
Dixie Chicks Gaslighter
The Dixie Chicks held nothing back in a recent interview with Allure.
Covering the popular publication’s new issue, the trio opened up about the controversy that changed their career and their place within the country music community.
As fans may recall, the group was essentially banned from country radio following comments lead singer Natalie Maines made during a Dixie Chicks’ concert in London in 2003.
“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all,” she told the crowd. “We do not want this war, this violence. And we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
After Maines criticized President George W. Bush while on foreign soil, country music fans became outraged and boycotted their music. Some even went as far as burning Dixie Chicks albums and crushing their CDs with heavy-duty equipment.
“I do not like when artists get on their soapbox — it’s not what people are there for,” Maines told Allure. “They’re there to listen to your music.” However, “the politics of this band is inseparable from the music.”
Knowing what she knows now, would Maines do it all again?
“Oh, that’s an interesting question,” Maines said. “I have no regrets, but the responsible part of me doesn’t want to put people through shit.”
The Allure reporter said she looked directly at her bandmates, Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer.
“I feel like you might’ve said something smarter or different,” Strayer added.
“Well, I always wish I had said something smarter!” Maines replied. “But when I think back, it’s like that movie Sliding Doors, right? Where would we be today if I hadn’t said that? That’s interesting. I really don’t know if I would take it back.”
When asked if they still felt like they were a part of the country music world, Maines was quick to share her thoughts.
“No, absolutely not,” she said. “When we started doing this music, I liked the people in our industry. We always waved that country flag when people would say it wasn’t cool. And then to see how quickly the entire industry turned on us…
“I was shocked that people thought that we were different than what we were,” she added. “I always felt like we were so genuine.”
Now, 17 years later, the Dixie Chicks are back in the spotlight with a new single and a brand new album on the way. According to research conducted by Rolling Stone Country, “Gaslighter” is off to a great start at radio. In fact, one programmer told the publication, he’s gotten nothing but good feedback about the track.
“For me to be a gatekeeper and say you shall not pass because of something that happened almost 20 years ago, that’s crazy,” Dan Zuko, who oversees WCOL in Columbus, Ohio, told Rolling Stone Country. “You have to give it a shot. You can’t ignore a cultural event like this, the Dixie Chicks back on country radio.”
It appears his listeners feel the same way.
“I haven’t seen a single negative piece of feedback,” he said.
So will “Gaslighter” be a hit? It’s too early to tell, however, the initial radio airplay is a good sign for the Dixie Chicks.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.