Skip to comments.Dixie Chicks at a Crossroads (more detail on the F.U.T.K. t-shirt)
Posted on 05/28/2003 8:25:09 AM PDT by fightinJAG
Dixie Chicks at a Crossroads
Exclusive commentary by CK Rairden
May 28, 2003
The Dixie Chicks were doing so well. Lead singer Natalie Maines had finally shut up, and the country artists had been cheered on their American concert tour for their music. Then came the prestigious American Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. The very mention of their name drew a chorus of boos from the crowd.
Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas, lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience in March. The Chicks took heat for that remark for weeks, so much so that they went on a victim tour to attempt to garner sympathy from their fans. They cried on the ABC magazine show Prime Time. They sat for an interview that ran in the magazine Entertainment Weekly, and posed for an apparently heavily airbrushed nude cover shot with slogans transcribed all over their bods.
They claimed they were being harassed and threatened and released information that they would hire off duty police officers to protect them. The victim card was played then the Chicks then held their breath and opened their tour in Greenville, South Carolina.
It went well as those who paid to see the Chicks greeted the band with cheers and not jeers.
It continued that way for all of their tour dates. Folks who paid to see them generally cheered, the Chicks kept their mouths shut except to sing and their fans supported them.
Then came the prestigious Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. It started out poorly for the Chicks as hostess Reba McEntire joked about them in her open monologue twice to a howling response from their peers.
This crowd in Las Vegas seemed less forgiving as none of them paid to see the Chicks perform. At the mention of the Chicks name, boos scattered down from the crowd.
But it still wasnt all that bad.
The big problem for the country music trio came when they were asked at the last moment to perform via satellite from Austin, Texas. Silence greeted the band in the Vegas auditorium as they were introduced. They played a tune that was broadcast on screen and as the camera zoomed in on lead singer and political commentator Natalie Maines you could see the letters F.U.T.K on her homemade t-shirt.
Most believe the T.K stands for Toby Keith, a country music superstar in his own right and singer of the very patriotic song Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (The Angry American.) It doesnt take much to figure out what the F.U. stood for.
The patriotic country music fans in Vegas didnt like the vulgar statement.
Toby Keith wrote that song after 9/11 in honor of his late father and it became an anthem for music fans that believed America had to defend itself after the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center towers.
It was also a song that former POW Pfc. Patrick Miller sang to his captors while being held in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Toby Keith even met Miller at his homecoming parade in Valley Center, Kansas and struck up a duet of the tune with the private. He then gave Miller his guitar from that day. It was a nice gesture by Keith, and fans appreciated it across America.
So once again, with her petty message to Keith, Natalie Maines gave the appearance of being ungrateful and unpatriotic.
The Vegas crowd would soon let her know about it.
Their name was then mentioned for entertainer of the year and the boos were thunderous. Presenter Vince Gill tried to quiet the crowd, but to no avail. This entire ceremony was a celebration of music and patriotism, and the Chicks were still perceived to be the exact opposite of that.
The show saluted the armed forces several times, including a standing ovation for three freed POWs of the Iraq war who were invited on stage. Pfc. Miller was there along with Chief Warrant Officer Ronald Young Jr. from Fort Hood, Texas and Spc. Shoshana Johnson, from Fort Bliss, Texas.
Johnson was shown misty-eyed as Darryl Worley sang his patriotic anthem for the soldiers Have You Forgotten?
The crowd had no patience for the Dixie Chicks and their anti-war stance.
The Dixie Chicks lost the entertainer of the year award to none other than Toby Keith, which pleased the Vegas fans. In fact they failed to win any awards.
Launch YAHOO! caught up with host Reba McEntire and asked her if she thought the Chicks' helped themselves to win back any support of the fans or fellow performers who were not happy with Maines' unpatriotic comment. McEntire made her opinion clear, (It) didn't sound like it. I announced it, and it was a pretty big negative response. It was very, very bad. I don't think it's over.
Reba is right.
The Chicks have lost respect from many country fans, many country artists, and many people who had never heard of them. Maines vulgar t-shirt showed clearly that she learned very little from her statements, or doesnt mind the loss of respect.
It will be amazing if Maines doesnt once again slip up, make another foolish statement and cause her band grief from country music fans and her peers. These three women are very talented musicians, but they are losing quite a few would be fans with perceived anti-American antics. The Chicks are at a crossroads. They can make a stand and attempt to become a political and social force with their music, words and t-shirts to a select anti-American crowd. Or they can continue to be country superstars. If they choose the latter--time can heal this, if thats what the Chicks want.
All they have to do is shut up and sing.
*vulgar* is an excellent term to describe Maines and those of her ilk.
I thought it was a brand of roasting chickens.
A Fool and her money are soon parted.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.