Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dixie Chicks: Accepted Again, or Not?

Much was mad of the Dixie Chicks' triumphant night at the Grammys. Conventional wisdom seemed to be that by winning five Grammys, including three of thetop prizes, they were being accepted back into the music business after being shunned because of their anti-Bush statements, and their subsequent digs at the country music establishment.

I think all this talk of the Chicks being accepted is misinterpreting the situation. The group was never rejected by the music industry as a whole. That business, which the Grammy Awards represent, never rejected the Chicks. The industry as a whole is liberal as compared to the country music world.

Country music is clearly "not ready to make nice" with the Chicks. They are still absent from country radio, and sentiment among those radio stations and among country fans is still firmly against the Chicks. Winning five Grammys has nothing to do with the country establishment. A better gauge of the Chicks' acceptance would be their performance at the Country Music Awards--except that there was no performance, since the Chicks were not even nominated for a single CMA award.

The Chicks' big night at the Grammys is certainly a boost for their career, and will no doubt result in greater record sales among non-country fans. But in the world of country music, the Chicks are as estranged as they were when they first made their anti-Bush comments in 2003.

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