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Support The Chicks

Dixie Chicks taking a stand: Natalie Maines is one of those people born middle finger first. As a high school senior in Lubbock, Texas, she’d skip a class a day in an attempt to prove that because she never got caught and some Mexican students did, the system was racist … Now that she’s truly notorious, having told a London audience in 2003, on the eve of the Iraq war, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas,” Maines has one regret: the apology she offered George W. Bush at the onset of her infamy. “I apologized for disrespecting the office of the President,” says Maines. “But I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t feel he is owed any respect whatsoever.” A sizable chunk of their once adoring audience feels the same way about the Dixie Chicks. After Maines’ pronouncement, which was vigorously seconded by bandmates Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, the group received death threats and was banned by thousands of country radio stations, many of which still have informal bans in place. The Dixie Chicks have mass appeal–you can’t sell 10 million copies of two of your three albums without engaging lots of different people–but country radio is an indispensable part of how they reach people. Programmers say that even now a heartfelt apology could help set things right with listeners, but it’s not happening. “If people are going to ask me to apologize based on who I am,” says Maines, “I don’t know what to do about that. I can’t change who I am.” It takes a lot of guts to go on the record with sentiments like this. It will be interesting to see how well their new album will sell if this is how they are promoting it. I have never purchased a Dixie Chicks album in my life … but I do plan on buying this new album. Go, Chicks, Go (frm PITNB)

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