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One Chicks Opinion has a Nation in Uproar

One Chicks Opinion has a Nation in Uproar

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Published by: Shirley on Mar 09, 2009
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12/28/2009

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Shirley Ortega Mary Fox English 85 3 Nov.

2008 One Chick’s Opinion has a Nation in Uproar Natalie Louise Maines was born to country music producer Lloyd Maines and his wife Tina in Lubbock, Texas on October 14, 1974. Maines grew up in a very conservative Texas town; she was the opposite of conservative, her thoughts were very open-minded. In fact, her passionate beliefs and opinions would often get her into trouble. She was always trying to look at things from another prospective, standing up for homosexuals and minorities; she was not afraid to let her opinion be known. After attending public minority schools, she attended South Plains College. Cary Banks, one of her instructors described her as “being as opinionated and hard headed as her dad.” Banks was also one of Lloyd Maines’ former band mates. Being opinionated is controversial, not everyone is going to agree with your ideas and you have to prepare for the repercussion of any comments you make. Maines auditioned in December 1994 and received a full vocal scholarship to the Berkley College of Music. She left the program in 1995 after being recruited by the Dixie Chicks to replace their lead singer, Laura Lynch. Once becoming famous with the Dixie Chicks, Berkley College of Music gave her an honorary degree in 1999. In June 1997, Maines met actor Adrian Pasdar at her fellow band mate Emily Erwins wedding to Charlie Robinson. The two were married a year later on June 24, 2000 at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, NV. The couple now has two children, Jackson Slade Pasdar, born March 15, 2001 and Beckett Finn Pasdar, born July 14, 2004. The family has two homes, one in Los Angeles, CA and one in Austin, TX. After Maines joined the Dixie Chicks in 1995 at the age of 21, she co-wrote four tracks their first three albums. The

Ortega 2 band has earned ten Country Music Association awards and thirteen Grammy awards since 1999. Their Top of the World Tour began in 2003, at that time our country was being led into the second Iraqi war; this order was served by President George W. Bush. The first concert of the tour kicked off on March 10, 2003 at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire Theater in London. Prior to performing their song”Traveling Soldier,” the band gave an introductory monologue in which lead singer, Natalie Maines said, “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.” Maines’ comment was reviewed by The Guardian, who abbreviated the statement to read, “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.” This abbreviated comment sparked anger and protests in which fans destroyed Dixie Chicks CD’s and nearly all country music stations boycotted their music. The Dixie Chicks web-site released a statement from Maines on March 12, 2003, “I feel the president is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world. My comments were made in frustration and one of the privileges of being an American is that you are free to voice your own point of view. While we support our troops, there is nothing more frightening than the notion of going to war with Iraq and the prospect of all the innocent lives that will be lost.” On March 14, 2003, a further statement was released, “As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers’ lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American.”

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Despite all the controversy regarding “The Incident” as it is referred to by the Chicks, they released their seventh studio album Taking the Long Way on May 23, 2006. This was three years since the release of their last album, Home. Maines was a primary song writer on the album Taking the Long Way this time she helped write all 14 tracks on the album. Maines considers the songwriting “pure therapy” after being shunned by country music for sharing her opinion of President Bush’s decisions. While promoting the album, Maines reconsidered her 2003 apology to President Bush. She released this statement on May 21, 2006, “I don’t feel that way anymore. I don’t feel he is owed any respect whatsoever. If people are going to ask me to apologize based on who I am, I don’t know what to do about that. I can’t change who I am.” All three Dixie Chicks co-wrote the track “Not Ready to Make Nice,” with Dan Wilson. It was a declaration of how they felt about being banned from country music radio, their feelings on freedom of speech, and how the controversy affected their lives. On December 7, 2006, Taking the Long Way was nominated for the 49th Grammy Awards in two categories (Album of the Year and Best Country Album) and the single "Not Ready to Make Nice" was nominated in three categories (Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal). The band won all five nominations on February 11, 2007. While accepting the album of the year award Maines said, “I think people are using their freedom of speech with all these awards. We get the message.” Maines has publically expressed her opinions on other controversial topics as well. A television appearance on the show Politically Incorrect in 1998, she

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cited the need for further research before the widespread use of medical marijuana is approved. In 2002, a public feud began between Maines and fellow country music star Toby Keith. Maines criticized Keith’s song “Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue” by saying, “I hate it. It’s ignorant, and it makes country music sound ignorant.” Keith responded by belittling Maines songwriting skills. After “The Incident” occurred, Keith added to the feud once again, in his 2003 Shock’n Y’all tour. The backdrop of his stage was a doctored photo of Maines with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Shortly thereafter, while performing for the Academy of Country Music Awards, Maines wore a t-shirt with the acronym FYTK. The Dixie Chicks website explained that the acronym stood for Freedom, Understanding, Truth, and Knowledge. It would later be revealed in their 2006 documentary Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing that the acronym stood for, Fuck You Toby Keith. Toby Keith publicly declared that he was done feuding with Natalie Maines in August 2003, citing “enough is enough.” Some people in our country have no respect for the opinions of other people. This is obvious since the Dixie Chicks were boycotted by country music and protested by angry Americans after Maines voiced her opinion of the impending Iraq war and President Bush. The fact that they we’re nominated in five different categories at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards, and won all five Grammy’s. It proves that the negative opinions of the Dixie Chicks are not the only opinions. I appreciate Maines for her ability to portray her ideas and not worry about what other people think of her. With that, I do not agree with all of her beliefs but I’m not going to stop listening to her music just because she has

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her own convictions. Every American has a right to their opinion, whether everyone agrees with it or not.

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Works Cited
Wikipedia. 2008. 20 October 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natalie_Maines>.

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