12 years ago one of country music's biggest bands gave an interview that almost ended their career, now here's the full story
Dixie Chicks were at the top of their career when one statement given by one of the team members became the reason for their fall down.
Words have the power to make or break a person and in the case of Dixie Chicks, it sure did damage the reputation of a band that was at the peak of their success. It all 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.
During the introduction to their song "Travelin' Soldier", Natalie passed a comment which was soon going to damage the entire reputation of the band. "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," she said. This comment soon spread like wildfire as several media houses picked it up and soon there was a downpour of criticism against the band.
Many people also took offense in the fact that Natalie passed this remark outside the USA and Natalie replied to them by saying, "I said it there 'cause that's where I was." Looking at the behavior that the girls had towards their own president, their reputation in the eyes of the people soon fell down. People started 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.
In order to get hold of the situation, in yet another concert Natalie tried to explain what she meant by the statement she had passed earlier. " "I feel the President is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world," she said. However, the statement was unable to change the reaction of the people and she was later forced to bring out an apology statement.
"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," she said in a BBC interview at that time.
Despite this, there was no change in the reactions of the people and the band suffered terrible financial loss. One of the most famous anti-Dixie protests was when the fans of the band were asked to bring their CDs to a demonstration at which they would be crushed by a bulldozer. Meanwhile, there were few singers who came forward to support the band but soon regretted their decision.
One such person was Madonna who stepped in to show support for freedom of speech. While one would think that by now the girls would think about withdrawing their statement, the reality was far from this. On April 24, 2003, the Dixie Chicks came together for an interview with Diane Sawyer. During the interview, Natalie made it clear that she was proud of her original statement and wasn't going to withdraw it.
A couple of months after that 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. The words represented all the words (both positive and negative) which had been used on them throughout the controversy. This was a shout-out by the band which suggested that no matter what people thought, they were not letting their freedom of speech be taken away.
George Bush also responded to the Dixie Chicks controversy in an interview with Tom Brokaw on April 24. "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," he said at that time.
Meanwhile, the Dixie Chicks had been prepping up for their nationwide Top of the World Tour and while the girls thought that they would be receiving backlash even on the tour, it happened to be quite the opposite of that. The crowd erupted in cheers for the band members and the girls were able to go on with their performance. Even though the girls have managed to bring themselves back to the performing scene, they could not get back themselves to the top like they were before they passed the comment.
However, despite the tremendous backlash they received in the past, the girls have not been afraid to voice their opinion, especially when it comes to politics. In the recent time, the band has pointed fingers at President Donald Trump and even though their words have not been appreciated by many it sure does look like the girls couldn't have cared less.