The Dixie Chicks Hit Back
When the Dixie Chicks took their politics with them onto a London stage in 2003, the Texas trio violated an unwritten code of country music. Our coverage of their comeback brought boos from fans who feel they've been betrayed and applause from a newfound audience ardent in its support of free speech
Thank you for your story "In the Line of Fire" [May 29], on how the Dixie Chicks are sticking by their political principles. In a day and age when too many people do the easy thing rather than the right thing, I am glad these women haven't backed down but have become stronger. I love their music. Although their songs are personal, they speak to a broad audience. I hope the Chicks keep singing, playing, writing and staying true to themselves.
MARCIA J. SARGENT Laguna Beach, Calif.
It's a sad situation when simply stating a dislike for the President gets you booed, boycotted and branded a radical and unpatriotic. With Bush's approval rating down to around 30%, I guess that leaves the other 70% of the nation radical and unpatriotic as well--and the Dixie Chicks in good company.
JOSHUA KLEIN Oak Park, Ill.
There is nothing that Nashville or its conservative fans hate more than originality. As soon as the Dixie Chicks expressed an original thought, they were treading on shaky ground. I can't believe Johnny Cash would support any foolish demonstrations against people for speaking freely. That's something we are supposed to be defending on the other side of the world.
J. BARRETT WOLF Harpursville, N.Y.
I value freedom of speech, but as the wife of a sailor who just came back from a six-month deployment, I think it's about time we started looking at both sides of the coin. I am proud of my husband for defending the country and the Constitution, and I am even more proud to live in a country in which political dissent is not viewed as treason. The Dixie Chicks were foolish, however, if they didn't expect repercussions for alienating their core audience by insulting the President while performing in a foreign country. Country-music listeners are well within their rights to stop buying the Dixie Chicks' albums and boycott radio stations that play them.
LEE MCGOWAN Norfolk, Va.
After the Dixie Chicks got in trouble, I promptly went out and purchased their CD Top of the World--and I loved it. I'm going to buy Taking the Long Way as well. I suspect there are many others who like me were first drawn to the Dixie Chicks by their courage and honesty in speaking out against the war and stayed with them because of those same qualities in their music.
MARLENE MONTOOTH Portland, Ore.
TIME's cover photo seems to show Natalie Maines' bandmates holding her around the waist as if they're trying to restrain her. If they would cover her mouth, the Chicks might get some of their fans back.
DAN MAY Mason, Mich.