Wednesday, February 14, 2007
The message of the Grammys
I've been amused by articles wondering if the Recording Academy, the institution behind the Grammy Awards, was sending a message by anointing the Dixie Chicks with album, song and record of the year.

Here's some news: The Grammys always send a message. It's just that the message is usually "Thank you for selling a zillion copies of your mediocre album" and all too rarely "Thank you for changing the face of pop music with your excellent release."

If the Recording Academy is saying that it supports the Dixie Chicks' political stand, it's rather meek to say so now; Natalie Maines made her remarks four years ago. And if the Academy is thumbing its collective nose at country radio, which dropped the Chicks from playlists, it's a little late there, too.

Indeed, if the Academy is angry at country radio, maybe it should take on radio in general, since the medium has long since become so pre-chewed and safe it makes the Grammys look bold. Perhaps then a wider variety of music would get more exposure. There's a message there, too. But I don't expect it to be heard.

(Addendum, 3 p.m.: Some commenters are interpreting this post as anti-Dixie Chicks. Actually, I have no problems with the Chicks, their album or whatever they want to say. My post is aimed at the Academy, which seems craven in its support -- they're still playing it safe, in other words, waiting until it's OK to "send a message." After all, if it really wanted to be political, the Academy could have voted for "American Idiot" for album of the year two years ago. Which deserved it, too.)
Hear, Hear!

Most of the greatest musician and bands see no recognition on radio or at the Grammy's. Since when has great musicianship meant certain winners of this year's Grammy's? I rarely agreed with the choices of Winner....there are so many great musicians out there, why were so few awarded for their talents?
I think it was a disgrace to give the Dixie Chicks those awards. First of all, how do you win Country album if you aren't country? How do you win Album of the year if you really don't have a great album? I think the Academy really screwed this one up this year.
You hit the nail on the head, Todd. The Grammys only reward the most mundane, ordinary, lowest common denominator acts that can't even be called "musicians", let alone "artists". Individuality and originality is a liability. The Grammys are a pathetic act by the music industry to pat itself on the back for how much money they made during the year and those that made it for them.
The Grammys (like all other mainstream award shows)do what they are supposed to do, which is reward mainstream artists. Some of these mainstream artists are good and deserve recognition, most are not. These awards shows (if they want to continue being aired on television) have to reward these commercial artists because that is what most of public wants. The public wants to see the Beyonces' of the world win, that's why she has sold 10 million records plus. For serious music lovers, for people who truly appreciate music, don't watch the Grammy's. It's not intended for you.
After I watched the Grammy Awards I too was a little bewildered at the Dixie Chicks....for one Im not sure they know what year we are as far as fashion. Also for the smart simpson remark made after getting the award.
Just take a bow, thanks all those who helped you and move smite those who didnt win shows you still have a lot of growing up to do.

You nailed it. Right on! Could radio station play lists be any shorter?! Could it be any harder to get on a playlist?!
Have you actually listened to Taking the Long Way Greg?
As far as I'm concerned The Grammys are totally out of touch with the "average" American.
It's all politics. The mainstream Hollywood voters are truly trying to push their agenda. It's disgraceful and that is why I don't watch it and just listen to music I like on the radio.
There was no disgrace in presenting the Dixie Chicks with these awards, quite the opposite. They are very deserving of them. It only ensures that there is still "Hope" in these United States and I am a proud supporter and listener of their music, regardless of the category in which they are honored. It's obvious, some folks are really not ready to make nice-
Can't stand the Dixie Chicks... REALLY - REALLY HATE THEM. The Grammys are so "OUT" even this post is a wate of time.

Dixie Chick - please just fade away!!!!
I am not too happy with any awards ceremony these days as it doesn't seem that a lot of the winners should be winners. I think it was bad to have a winner that takes an award away from someone that is more deserving and with so many great artists in the world, why would any one group have to win 3 or more awards. To me, it should be set up where any more than 2 awards, you are credited with doing something good, possibly great, but give other people recognition that is deservidly so if not more so in some ways!
The distinction to draw here is that the Academy respected what the Dixie Chicks went through, and how they didn't back down from exercising their free speech. I don't have a problem with that. But to somehow extrapolate that to the conclusion that the Dixie Chicks were right or that they've 'won' somehow because they're no longer reaping the pain of what they said so long ago. On the contrary, when they win a people's choice award, that's when they will have recovered from their mistake (which was to offend their customers, even though they had every right to say what they want).
So it's a disgrace to give an award to a group who merely stated their opinion, but it is not a disgrace the your president started an unnecessary war that continues to kill hundreds of people every day? I think it's time to look at the big picture.
They had to have won simply because of their political stance, because their new music doesn't sound anything different than all the other albums they've released.
That is so sad to me - that's fine if you want to say all those things, but that has nothing to do with music.
And Natalie Maines has got to be the most class-less woman on the face of the earth.
The Grammies are a joke, kind of like the grammar used above.

If you take the Grammies seriously, stop watching T.V. and pick up a book. They're based on record sales and radio play, and that is determined by the companies that own the music. The marginally talented artists that win know that there are musicians out there, dead and alive that have more talent in the right toe than themselves.
Who said the Dixie Chicks aren't country? They may consider themselves something else because of the snubbing and derision they received from the country music industry and press, but they aren't fooling anyone. As far as their album goes, it IS a great album and deserved to be nominated for album of the year. The problem is that some of the other nominees, most notably John Mayer and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, deserved the award more if the award is based on musicianship. I think the Academy lost some credibility by awarding the Chicks the Best Album Grammy because the award was clearly based more on empathy than on artistic merit. Their other four Grammys, as far as I'm concerned, were well deserved and can be justified on the basis of the recording and songs rather than on sympathy or some other factor.
The Dixie Chicks desreved those awards...the album/ record is great music and the country radio industry should be ashamed for not playing them. I mean really...Most of our Country hates what!
my humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps.

Nuff said about the grammy awards and their standards and what they figure to be musical greatness.
I, along with the VAST majority of people, could care less what the academy thinks!! The whole Grammy thing is soooo irrelevant!!
I completely agree with Greg!
The entertainment industry as a whole is full of granola crunching intolerants who despise anything outside of their own viewpoints. The Grammys showed this, and nobody is surprised. Natalie Maines' ignorant little Simpsons outburst proved her lack of class, lack of grace, and lack of sportsmanship. She could have been cordial and gracious in her win, but that goes against her character (or lack thereof).
My guess is that Greg is one of those Bush-backing, Dixie Chick CD stomping idiots that the Dixie Chicks sang about on this brilliant album that collected FIVE well deserved Grammys.
Maybe a lot of voters just like their music.
Your "country" comment is certainly on the mark. Sometimes the Dixie Chicks sound like country, and other times not so much.

Regarding your comment about the Album of the Year and the Dixie Chicks not having a "great album", well, that's completely off the mark. While I'm not a huge fan of the group, their album -- when compared to the other nominees -- was undoubtedly the best of the year.

There are plenty of artists who write either in support of or against the war in Iraq. The three front women of the Dixie Chicks bring a certain legitimacy to their argument, as well as a musicianship rarely found in today's popular music. Whether or not the Academy was making a political statement by rewarding the group, the Dixie Chicks were certainly deserving of the many accolades awarded to them.
I think the Dixie Chicks deserved those awards for their artistic abilities. I seriously doubt that it had anything to do with the remarks that were said. What would be the point in making a big deal about it now?

I think its stupid to think they won those awards based upon what was said. I think this was their greatest album they have made to this date. And they deserve the glory..
Right on Todd. The Dixie Chicks knew they could cash in on their controversy. However, one song, played a million times does not a song of the year make. It does however make for a very boring line up and a beat to death play list. The Grammys are a dog and pony show for the music industry. With the amount of songs one hears in a day, there's no possible way to represent the wide spectrum of talent out there. Therefore, the music industry plays pat on the back and pays hommage to their list of popular musicians of the day (or minute). If you expect anything else out of such a superficial industry, you're bound to have more disappointment in your life than the people who went up against the Dixie Chicks in their respective categories.
I had to laugh when the Natalie Maines said that the "...people are using their freedom of speech with all these awards. We get the message." Which "people" does she think voted for her record? Do the members of the Recording Academy count as "the people"? I don't think so.
No one is sending a message other than "Oh I heard that CD, I'll vote for it"! Support for new, boundary pushing music almost always comes from the youth, and they don't have the credits or money to get into NARAS. You can't sway the results when you can't vote!
I'm not ready to make nice with the Dixie Chicks anyway. Reguardless what the Academy thinks.
JOHN LEGEND,Mary's "Breakthrough" album & many others (James Brown, Jennifer H.,etc.) were given awards or noticed. What happen to the jazz & blues,alternative music catagories? They hardly get a mention & many do not get to play their music live during these awards.
It might be worth noting that The Chicks put out a pretty good album that pretty much deserved the accolades it received. The Grammys will never make everyone happy and often, they get it wrong but this time it appears they got it right without even reading anything into the results.
I agree that the Grammys are a joke. In fact, I rarely have paid attention to them. I did tune in this year because I happen to think that the Dixie Chicks' "Taking the Long Way" is one heck of a good album, and I was rooting for them (admittedly, for both musical and political reasons).

Now, was it really the best record that was made in 2006? Hardly. But was it the best one that had any chance of getting recognition by the Academy? I think so.

It's kind of like presidential elections. The nominees are very rarely the best people for the job, but we're stuck voting for them anyway. And that's never going to change.
When have the Grammy's ever paid attention to categories? One only needs to look at Jethro Tull's "Heavy Metal" win over Metallica or any of Will Smith's wins for rap to see that. However, the Grammy awards for the Dixie Chicks smacks of message before music at its most transparent. The Chicks' album of four years ago was not influenced at all by Maines' political statements. This one, specifically "Nice," was born out of the past four years after Maines' comment to concertgoers in the UK. Leopold's argument is not well-reasoned on this point at all.
Message -- what message?

The Dixie Chicks are what they are -- a good band - period!

Folks need to start walking on the bright side of the road for a change.

Please do not spread the dark cancer that drips from the lips of the likes of O'Reilly and Hannity into the world of music. There simply has to be some avenue where folks have the opportunity to shine irrespective of their personal beliefs.

The Dixie Chicks shine - move on.
At least in L.A. we can hear decent music, via Indie 103.1. Many great bands, that don't "make the charts" are heard every day. Standard radio is so stagnant.
I read your comments regarding the Dixie Chicks and felt compelled to write. Although you are allowed your opinions, as are all of us; why wouldn't the country radio stations allow the audience to decide if they would like to hear the Chicks songs again? Have we become such a callous society that forgiveness is no longer an acceptable way of life?

Did we forget that although Natalie's comments came early on with the war in Iraq, the majority of the American people now agree with her stance? Check the polls on the major websites, we don't want the war, we don't need more troops over there, and our President is staying the course in spite of everything.

I'm saying life is short, mistakes are made, lessons are learned and forgiveness is granted. Natalie ended the night at the Grammys by saying, "She's ready to make nice." It would be nice if the country music industry would make nice back and set the example for our young people to learn and live by.

Unlike the comments by Brit and Terry, who still appear to be unforgiving. I feel comforted knowing I'm not part of their family or circle, as they allow no room for forgiveness.
I agree whole heartdly with Mr Leopold, too many great musicians out there who do not get the recognition they deserve, but then again they are the humble types ones who do not have to satisfy their egos on National TV and say " Hey you love me " I am really good at what I do. Bah humbug me thinkest that all the televised awards shows for entertainment are self serving alcolades for egotisitical, politicaly minded individuals who somehow think that winning these awards validates their human net worth. Time will tell. In 50 years will the media still be playing their songs.
For political reasons, I couldn't be happier that the Dixie Chicks won every award they were nominated for, especially Best Country Album. I was embarrassed to be an American when the backlash occurred after Natalie's statements. As much as the current administration refuses to acknowledge it, freedom of speech is still alive.

I have never been a fan of country music, but I really liked the album, the song is great, and Rick Rubin is brilliant. I think it deserved to win the Grammys.
Well said. It was easy to see that the award was a political move. With the RIAA's stances on issues across the board, it is easy to see why they are so behind the times, even when it comes to handing out their collective "pats on backs."
I couldn't agree more, where were the Grammy's and the mainstream music industry 4yrs ago when they were getting death threats. I'm very happy to see that they've finally gotten the attention they deserve even if it is 4yrs too late.
Of course politics are involved. Remember, this is the same academy that has the Beatles with less Grammys (2) than the Fifth Dimension(3). Right: "Hey Jude" pales to "Stone Soul Picnic". Gimme a Break.
I thought the best message sent at the Grammys this year came from the Red Hot Chili Peppers -- "We need more rock bands -- all you kids out there, please go out and start a rock band!". I agreee whole heartedly. I am so sick of the endless, mindless warbling coming from American Idol winners and other similar cheesy performers -- there's a definite imbalance on the mainstream music scene -- we need more rock bands!!!
I agree solely on qualtity of music. I have listened to my brother in laws copy of the Chicks disc. It's OK, but that is it.

Same for the American Idol girl, whatever her name is... not too impressive. Maybe she will get better when she payes her dues.

Corinne Bailey Rae got gyped. She should have won every catagory she was nominated for... and I am a 42 year old caucasian southern boy!!

If it is not too late, get that disk for your sweetheart for Valantine's Day... or the day after!!
I agree with the last comment....what happened to country songs about whiskey drinkin' and butt kickin'? The Dixie Chicks are about as country as the Beastie Boys. Who really cares what the Dixie Chicks have to say? The American people's fascination with celebrities is out of control. Thanks Grammy's.....for another lame awards show where mediocrity is rewarded.
The American public is tired of artist giving us political opinions that should be personal to everyone. If you give awards to the one's who bad mouth the US Goverment, all will jump on board. If you are ashamed to be from the same state as the president, please move because we are not proud of you as an American. Everyone is against war, but we can fight terrorist on thier soil or ours, so if you want the US attacted again just keep undermining the goverment on issues you know nothing about. Congrats to all the country channels that refuse to play the chicks music. I never will.
Just remember that this is the same Academy that awarded Grammys to Jethro Tull for Best Metal Album and Best Pop Performance to Milli Vanilli.
This just proves how out of touch the Academy/Hollywood is with America. The Dixie Chicks and their lasted album wasn't good at all.
This topic hits a nerve with many of us. The grammy's and the Oscars have become more of a marketing ploy than a celebration of true artistic genius and talent. It bothers us becuase we want to turn to these awards trust what they pronounce, but are let down. These award shows have lost thier integrity and are more and more becomming a joke to society(or just fashion shows with a theme). Or maybe it is just that we the people are starting to realize what has always been lacking.
Right on. I hope the Dixie Chicks loaded up their self-esteem wagon in that venue. Those that supported them before will still do so, those that didn't won't and those on the fence will get pushed one way or the other. I didn't think it was possible for my opinion of these award forums to go any lower - congratulations?
Maybe if you did some research, you would see that the Chicks haven't had another full album out since 2002. Your statement of "If the Recording Academy is saying that it supports the Dixie Chicks' political stand, it's rather meek to say so now; Natalie Maines made her remarks four years ago" is ridiculous since they wouldn't even be up for any awards these past 4 years.

If they had another album out 2 years ago, you better believe they would have been winning these awards then as a political statement as well.

Try doing a little research before making assinine statements.
The Grammy's is always so 'last years' . Not called THE GRANNY's for no reason. That being said: it was great to see the Police on stage again... Frank G.

ps- here is a band that deserves a grammy for their new album...
Once again the music industry goes where it does not belong. Let's place our liberal agenda on the table and support the Dixie Chicks and show how modern and sophisticated the academy is. Ooohhh, ahhhh, you're sooo clever. No one will ever be able to see through your motives. It's sickening!

Brilliant new music is emerging and on the scene almost weekly, yet we are stuck honoring garbage for political agendas. I happen to enjoy the Dixie Chicks music, but their most recent is not their best work and far from deserving any music awards. It's funny how our nation screams for separation of church and state, but feels real comfortable with music & politics, hollywood & politics, TV & politics, businesses & politics etc..
In the immortal words of U2 "how long must we sing this song?"
Personally I don't care for a lot of country but I do like good music and artist who show their talent, if there was a hidden message then its way late and screw Country Radio for shutting the girls out for their opinion. You don�t have to agree with their politics but their music is their music not their politics.

So good for the girls and good for Mary J and all the other winners whether I think their deserving or not does not matter because the professionals that made up the Academy must know what their doing or they would not be judging it would they? To all of those who don�t agree with me may the tune for the song�s � Baby Elephant Walk� or � Jungle Fever� stay in your head for days to come!
I have long given up on the Grammy's ever being a respectable awards show. I agree, it awards sales and popularity, not talent. This (and MTV) just feeds the mindless regurgiation of pop music and stifles creativity and originality. Case in point: American Idol winner Carrie Underwood winning best new artist. Hello?! Imogen Heap was by far the winner in that category. And what was up with Smokie Robinson and Lionel Richie performing with Chris Brown. How insulting to Lionel and Smokie. Every year they pair legends with studio produced flash-in-the-pans. It's quite sad really...
Bush supporter I am not. When a not so intelligent musician stupidly yells something political out during a concert, you just want to say..."Honey, just zip-it and sing.. that's why we buy your music!" Then when they start capitalizing on their stupidity and whining how threaten they are on the tv circuit THEN make a album about it...I just want to say..."Honey, just zip-it and go away....I really don't want to hear your music now... Carrie Underwood is on!" Thank you radio USA for banning the Chicks whatcha-call-it album. You did the right thing for us supporters of great musicans that zip-it and just sing!
I think the Dixie Chicks are a Joke, espicially Natalie, she couldn't keep her mouth shut when receiving the Award.
I think that what country radio did to the Dixie Chicks a couple of years ago was despicable. I love country music and have following the Chicks from the beginning. I loved this new album and think that they deserved every award they got at the Grammy's. Hurray for them sticking to their guns and making the music that they can believe in.
Applause!!! I totally agree with you. When the Dixie Chicks came on I turned off my TV.
In response to Greg, this is where the Grammy's were sending the message. For country album, the message is, "Country radio dropped you for a political reason, not because you don't sound country. We still think you sound country." And then the snub to country radio, "We're going to show you how little we care about airplay for an award in your genre & give it to someone you refuse to play." Not that I agree, that's just how I read it...

For album of the year, I think the message is, "We think the fact that you put out an album that lyrically does the opposite of apologize to country radio (your supposed market audience) makes this an important album, and we stand with you." Again, not that I agree, that's just how I read it...

I agree with Todd, these messages are too little too late. Not to mention the lack of support for other artists that don't get airplay because their music doesn't package neatly into a defined genre.

I also agree that the Grammy's are really a, "thank you for being so popular" award and not a "Wow, you are amazing," award. Which is something that's been critizied for years, and hasn't changed a bit. We just have to face it - the Grammy's are just entertainment. I think we'd accept that easier if was Dick Clark putting this together instead of the industry's union.
I love the album and the "Chicks", evidently so do others! The fact that it might be interpreted as a slam against "Shrub" is just gravy. On second thought do you really believe it was political? I thought the last election settled that and I don't think the awards had anything to do with it. It's just sour grapes by some!
Its called POLITICS and making a statement. Now the Dixie Chicks will believe that they have credibility, what did the Grammys think.

(sidenote a few -- FEW -- actually talented individuals did get the recognition that the deserve -- Peter Frampton, Third Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, others did leave me scratching my head.)
Who cares, it's the Grammy's. Did you expect anything but the left leaning agenda of the entertainment industry to be put forward?
This had to be one of the most boring Award shows I have watched. I listen to different radio stations and did not hear one of the Dixie Chicks songs played, ever. Who played it enough to make it a winner? Who cares is they aren't ready to make nice?
Country may not want to acknowledge the Dixie Chicks any longer, but the fact is their musical style has not really changed. If it was country 4 years ago, it is country today. The truth is that it sounds more country than many songs being played on country radio today.
As for whether it is a great album; that is subjective. Personally, I like the album. It is a better album, IMHO, than Carrie Underwood's or even Keith Urban's latest release. Evidently, the academy agreed. So I was quite happy to hear of their multiple wins.
I whole-heartedly agree that radio in general and country radio in particular needs to be examined. Not only has it become too 'safe', but it has become far too powerful. Radio has been dictating what we listen to and promotes certain artists, instead of letting the listening audience determine what they want to hear.
I think that artisit feel because you buy their album or watch their movie they think they can say what they feel without consequence. Just beacuse someone likes your song, does not mean they agree with your politics. I am not saying it is right for people to make death threats because they don't agree with you, but surely artist must realize that they are there to entertain. If you want comment on politics, do it in the right forum. Not at a concert or accepting your award. If you do, you must be prepared for the potential backlash.
Yes, you got it right. It was a political statement. Give me a break. The Dixie Chicks aren't even played on (most of) the Country Radio stations anymore. So how in the world can they win "BEST" Country Album, Song and Record? It wasn't voted on by anyone that listens to country music, but by someone who wanted to listen to more of Natalie Maines rhetoric... Just my two cents, you are free to agree or disagree.
What a way to demean an award by giving it for political reasons rather than excellence. What a laugh the Grammys have become. All recording artists should be up in arms about this, but apparently they agree. I do not believe Ella Fitzgerald (5 time Grammy winner) would have agreed and would have been deeply disappointed in the music industry in caring more about making a political statement than awarding the best of the best.
The Grammy's have been and alway be too political.....I think Country Music should boycott the Grammy's next year...A Grammy does not mean anything..try the "People's Choice Awards"..or better yet..award by the number of albums sold...
Did the Dixie Chicks deserve all their Grammys? You bet they did! If some of you nay sayers would actually listen to the album, (which you can actually do unlike most songs today), you would be able to understand why their words & music was so far above evereyone else's. Mary J. Blige is good, but she's so mainstream as is Justin Timberlake who still sounds like he's back in the "bubble gum" world of rock music. I think that the only message the Grammy's was sending is that no matter what your view on a subject, as an American you have the right to express it & not be black balled & censored. As for their fashion sense, yes, it leaves a bit to be desired, but at least their various body parts weren't hanging out & over exposed. Rock on Chicks, rock on!
I don't know how "pre-chewed" and "safe" the radio medium has really become. Maybe it's just the area I live in, but safe isn't the word. There's nothing "safe" about gangsta rap and rock songs where words have to be bleeped out for the radio version. I only listen to CDs now because it's the only way I get to hear good music. The Grammy's seem bold because they ARE when they praise the bold music that is being played out there. Is it a political move by the Grammy's to vote a country artist like the Dixie Chicks Album of the Year (among other awards) when the largest city in the country like NYC doesn't even have ONE country station? Hmmmmm..not a hard one to figure out.
Yes! I'm beyond tired of hearing about the message (either from fans or haters). The album had great reviews since its release. Better reviews than a lot of previous Album of the Year winners. Why is it so hard to imagine that they won for merit? It was one of my top picks for the year.
Jeff in ATL, of course the top, mainstream artists who typically win the big categories put out commercial product that a lot of music lovers disdain. But to say "The Grammys only reward the most mundane, ordinary, lowest common denominator acts that can't even be called "musicians", let alone "artists" is way off base. Do you know how many categories there actually are? The majority of the awards won are not televised; many winners ARE true artists and musicians, and live a life immersed in their work that ranges from world music to spoken word to hundreds of other types of music.

I think one of the message taken from this years awards is that there really is great young vocal talent out there, and that artists like Ms. Aguilera (yes, Jeff - she can outsing you in a New York minute) can work outside of their respective pop parameters.

Nothing too serious, tho - it's just music...
To Todd's point, the remarks made happened four years ago! Second, the Dixie Chicks are just musicians, who cares what they think?!?! I never understood that. Actors certainly have no problem defining where there political lines are, does that deter people from seeing their films? No. And why? Because they're artists. There is no difference, actors, musicians, it is all for the entertainment value.

I am a Dixie Chicks fan and I think winning best song and record of the year is understandable. However, album of the year, country album and country performance by a duo or group was not deserved. Moreover, I think it's amusing that they were even nominated in the country category, and better that they won!

On a side note, I thought network execs were trying to shorten award shows so why was this one three and a half hours long?
Grammy Awards,

Thank you for your amazing taste in music! For those of us who are interested in keeping up with what is cool, and are not cool enough to figure it out for ourselves, you have been our guidepost.

Also, thank you for basing your decisions on reasons other than music, because music's not what it's about anyway, right? It's about being cool and having the luxury of letting others make the decision for us.
If the Grammys message is that they support the Dixie Chicks' political view, guess what? So does the majority of America considering the past four years. Should they have won? I don't know, but I don't know if a man whose hit songs include "Move B**ch, Get out tha way" should win big awards either. As far as the Dixie Chicks not being country, I'd say they're just as country as Faith Hill and LeAnne Rimes who have both made very pop sounding records. If they country music industry has dropped them from their playlists, it's not because they aren't country, it's because they aren't hillbilly enough to walk around like sheep and try to be people pleasers.
RE: Phil, Kansas City, MO : 2:44 PM ET

Banning the Chicks from the radio let me keep both hands on the wheel of my car instead of flipping the channel. So I thank country radio for that. It's the small things in life that mean so much.
As further evidence that the Grammy awards are a farce put on by the recording industry to pat itself on the back: In 2005, Maroon 5 won the award for "Best New Artist." Their debut album "Songs About Jane" was released in 2002, and finally peaked in popularity in 2004. In other years, artists who have released at least two CDs have been nominated for the "Best New Artist category."

Such a joke. The Academy Awards sometimes fall into the same trap, but they usually at least try to award artistic talent, rather than just a bunch of buddies who have top sales.
If some of you follow the same thought process about the DC's receiving best album due to an "outside" event, then Eric Clapton should NEVER have received his multiple Grammys a few years ago just because his kid died when he fell off the balcony. You can't have a double standard, people.
Since the voting is done by peers why is everyone complaining? The Dixie Chicks won because their peers chose them. They didn't win because Democrats voted. They deserved to win.
The wrote, sang and produced a great CD.
BTW...I agree with Natalie's statement 3 years ago and admire the Chicks courage.
I always enjoy different. Different is not popular. Different may not be cool. Different is not the Grammys. The Grammys are not different.

Peace to Mickey and Bill. It was great seeing you guys! We love you, Jerry!
its funny to think that all the nay-sayers and whiners complaining about the attention the Chicks/grammies are getting...well...they clicked this link, read the story, and commented.

for people who seem to 'not care' or think the 'grammies are irrelevant' you sure were interested enough to comment.

strange folks round these parts.

i didnt care for the chicks before the show, but have found some respect for them after reading all these comments. after all, they were chosen/picked to be there and you chose/picked to watch or not.

and now all of you are falling all over yourselves to voice your opinion.

strange indeed.

Re: John McGreedy from Chat, TN

John, are you serious? Really, are you kidding us? Who brought the world of politics into this discussion???? Hannity, O'reilly?? Oh yeah, that's right, your beloved "Dixie Chicks are just a great band period" are the ones that used their platform and media for political purposes. We're merely commenting on what they've done. Hannity & O'Reilly are what they are! They're not hiding behind a mask of "artistic expressionism"! When you are uneducated about a topic, best to stick to the pig farming.
The Grammy show this year was so Lethargic. Justin Timberlake, pelase, Boring eprformances, no bands with any edge, polished pop crap BS...and I do like pop.

How about some bands with musicality AND great hits??

I think I'll pass on it next year until they stop catering to the 13 year old boys and girls. And I'm a musician as well as a fan of all types of music but it is getting ridiculous. Even the audience was bored out of their minds...
Re: Dave from Southbend

Dave, you're sooo witty. I bet you thought hard about that, probably the best rhetoric to put people in their place. And your "new-found" respect for the Dixie Chicks is so original as well. You've just exposed all of us, secretly we're fans of the Academy & the Dixie Chicks. We're just writing this because we're "strange folks around these parts". Right, "folks" is the word you used?

Yes, we all read the story, because it's relevant to the society in which we live. Again, the issue is not, I repeat, is not the Dixie Chicks. It's the hypocrisy of a supposedly unbiased Academy to correctly honor those indiviuals that have made outstanding contributions to the artistic field of MUSIC!!! Instead, the Academy has a political agenda to honor those who have made little contribution to music but support like political views. Get a clue dude, seriously. I don't know what is happening in the mid-west, but it's not educational.
Many people here keep saying "country radio" or "radio USA" refused to play the Dixie Chicks Music. The truth is that the boycott was orchestrated by Clear Channel Corp. and Viacom which own a huge % of these stations and which have strong ties to the Republican Party. I don't have space to go into it all here, but check out this link for one excellent article on this plot --

Long live Dixie Chicks, Kanye West, Joan Baez, Neil Young and so many other artists courageous enough to use their voices and talents to speak up vs. injustice! Artists have done this throughout world history - it's not just "liberal Hollywood."
One of the hallmarks of great artists is their ability to take a stand � even if it is not considered mainstream and even if it offends some people. The Dixie Chicks were always considered great among Country Music artists. The fact that their comments offended so many people speaks more to the narrow mindedness of the country radio community and the listeners / fans (?) that blacklisted the Chicks. The Dixie Chhicks shouldn�t be �ready to make nice� so long as they are persecuted for their beliefs or cast as anti-American or unpatriotic. Their sweep of the Grammy Awards is perhaps a belated recognition of this. But it is also a recognition that their latest music is nothing short of the best.
Intrigued Dave,

How is it strange that we want people to know that we are not part of the Chick club?

So you respect them because we spoke out against thier music... that is strange... and shallow.

Follow the beat of your own drummer dude. Or do you want to know which drummers we prefer as well?
The Dixie Chicks won for the same reason U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lenny Kravitz, etc. usually win whenever they put out an album - because they're actually good. They actually take the time to put out good albums that are good all the way through. Maybe I'm alone here, but I don't see too much talent in a majority of today's mainstream artists who seem to have nothing to offer except some flashy dance moves.
Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of people like Tim Welch, T Buck and their ignorant, uninformed rants about celebrities and recording artists expressing opinions. The Dixie Chicks don't have to hang their politics on the door when they record an album or perform in concert-they're Americans with a right to freedom of expression just like everyone else. If you don't like them stop buying their albums and going to their concerts. And if you do like them, for God's sake stop listening to country music radio stations because you likely won't find them there.
The Beatles never won any Grammys, right? HMMMMMMM!
Thank God for the I-Pod. The radio has become MTV. Where's the music?
I'm not defending Natalie's "Simpsons" "ha-ha!" per se, because I think it was childish, but I don't believe, as some commenters seem to, that it was directed at her fellow nominees. I think it was directed at her critics at large, the people who wanted to end her career or even see her dead. So while it wan't very classy, I think it was very human.
Occasional musings and gab about the world of entertainment.
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