For the record, the Dixie Chicks were banned from country music stations — and from the country music genre in general — because 10 years ago, lead singer Natalie Maines dared to tell an audience in London that “we don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”
That’s all it took, here in the land of the free and home of the brave.
UPDATE: Here’s a comprehensive, well-written piece in Texas Monthly outlining the Chicks’ rise and fall, and where they are now. A taste:
“The short answer to what happened is known in band lore as the Incident. In March 2003, on the brink of the Iraq war, Natalie told a London audience that the Chicks were ashamed that George W. Bush was from Texas. Prior to that moment, they looked like surefire enshrinees to the Country Music Hall of Fame, poised, perhaps, to become the biggest act in the genre’s history. In barely five years, their first three records had sold 28 million copies. Their then-current album, Home, had sold 6 million in six months. But in the ten years since Natalie spoke those words, none of those records has sold even one million more copies, and the Dixie Chicks as an entity scarcely exists. How could an impromptu bit of between-song banter cause so much damage? And why did millions of fans never forgive them?
The fact is, none of it was nearly that simple.”
– Jay Bookman