Dixie Chicks is a female country music band. They are the only country group, and the only female group, of any genre to earn two consecutive Diamond Awards, which are given for albums that sell 10 million copies.
The Dixie Chicks' career started in 1990, from their home in Dallas, Texas. There were originally four singers and instrumentalists combining the sound of Country and Western and Bluegrass music: sisters Martie and Emily Erwin, Laura Lynch and Robin Lynn Macy, although the latter left the group in 1992.
In 1995 Laura Lynch left the group and Natalie Maines was recruited as their new lead singer. By this time the Erwin sisters had married and played under the names of Martie (Erwin) Siedel and Emily (Erwin) Robison. The success of their albums Wide Open Spaces, Fly, and Home led to their being asked, in 2003, to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXXVII.
Later in 2003 Natalie Maines made an unguarded comment at a concert in London, saying:
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.
Directly after this, co-band member Emily Robison said that the band supported the American troops.
Maines' comment angered many people, who believed she should not have criticized the President during the approach to a war. For a time, their career foundered, because of the vociferous opposition of people who disagreed with them. Demonstrations were held, and death threats made towards them. Ironically, their right to make their remark was defended by President George W. Bush, who said:
Freedom is a two-way street. I don't really care what the Dixie Chicks said. I want to do what I think is right for the American people, and if some singers or Hollywood stars feel like speaking out, that's fine. That's the great thing about America.
Although, Maines later apologized, in 2006 she rescinded her apology and stated that she doesn't feel that President Bush was "owed any respect whatsoever." That year, she also stated " I don't understand the necessity for patriotism" and "I don't see why people care about patriotism."