The Chicks Say They “Never Wanted To Be In” Country Music

The Chicks/YouTube

One of the hottest country acts of the late 1990s and early 2000s was the Dixie Chicks, now known as simply The Chicks. Despite their success the all-female trio says that they never wanted to be country.

The Chicks Didn’t Want To Be Country

In a new interview with The Los Angeles Times, The Chicks opened up about being exiled from country music after lead singer Natalie Maines criticized then-President George W. Bush.

Maines told the outlet that the incident gave them freedom to leave country music, a genre they never wanted to be in.

“It’s defining in the way it set us free. It got us out of this box of country music, which we never wanted to be in and never felt like that’s who we were. We didn’t have to do any of that bulls— anymore,” Maines, 48 said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, country music, please take us back.’ It was middle fingers: ‘Bye!’”

The Chicks’ Country Music Success

Despite their disdain for country music, The Chicks can credit their success to the genre. The trio was originally considered to be a progressive bluegrass band, and upon signing their first record deal in 1997 became the most successful female group in country music history.

With their string of chart-topping hits like “There’s Your Trouble,” “Wide Open Spaces,” “You Were Mine,” “Cowboy Take Me Away,””Without You”, and Bruce Robison’s “Travelin’ Soldier,” the band was on their way to massive success. Numerous awards followed, including 8 ACM Awards, 10 CMA Awards, and a whopping 13 Grammy Awards.

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The Chicks’ Controversy

While performing on stage in London in 2003, The Chicks were preparing to sing their hit ballad “Travelin’ Soldier” when Maines told the audience, “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.”

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The comment came just days before the Iraq war and tensions were high between anti-war and pro-war Americans. The backlash was almost immediate as country radio stopped playing the band’s songs and fans started burning their albums.

The Chicks are often considered the first casualty of cancel culture before cancel culture existed. Three years after the controversy, The Chicks released their album Taking the Long Way. The world watched to see what the reaction to the band’s return would bring.

Taking the Long Way debuted at No. 1 on both the U.S. Pop Albums chart and the U.S. Country Albums chart. The album sold 526,000 copies in the first week despite having little to no radio airplay. The Chicks became the first female band in chart history to have three albums debut at No. 1.

In 2007, the trio won all five Grammy Award categories for which they were nominated. Those wins included trophies in the top categories of Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year.

Read The Chicks’ full interview with the Los Angeles Times HERE.

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