Where are the Dixie Chicks now? Iconic band was CANCELLED for criticizing George W Bush
The best-selling female band with 13 Grammy awards fell prey to cancel culture owing to a political controversy involving George W Bush
The iconic band, which became a household name in the late 1990s with hits like ‘There’s Your Trouble’ and ‘Wide Open Spaces’, was arguably the first time the internet played a role in cancel culture. The Chicks, aka Dixie Chicks with lead singer Natalie Maines, the multi-instrumental sisters Emily Strayer, and Martie Maguire, was one of the top-selling music bands in history that's now become a cautionary tale. It is difficult to completely separate the Texas-native trio from the defining controversy of their career that changed their lives.
During a show in London in 2003, the band's lead singer Natalie Maines criticized then-president George W Bush regarding the American invasion of Iraq. She said to an overseas audience, “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 remarks triggered massive boycotts in the US and the band faced severe backlash from fans. Angry rallies in the South saw Dixie Chicks CDs being gathered and destroyed. The band was also blacklisted by thousands of radio stations, while the band members received death threats. The band’s future further imploded when the backlash damaged the sales of their albums and tours.
Maines issued an apology, saying her remark had been disrespectful which she later rescinded in 2006 saying, she felt Bush deserved no respect. While the band never pretended that the controversy didn’t have a major impact on their lives and career, they moved on. After three years in 2006, they roared back with 'Not Ready to Make Nice' which addressed the political controversy that plagued the group for three years. The song received the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 2007.
In the following years, the band continued to make hit songs like 'Shut Up and Sing' and went on hiatus to spent time with their families until touring again in 2010 and 2013. In 2020, the band dropped 'Dixie' from their name, citing negative connotations, and released their first album in 14 years, 'Gaslighter'. With 13 Grammy Awards and a record sales of 27.9 million albums in the US alone, The Chicks became the best-selling female band and the best-selling country group in the US. The band still believes that the controversy will usually be the first part of any story written about them, and observers who know nothing about their music will typically associate them with that one moment.