2002 Dixie Chick Bights Off A Little More Than She Can Chew

In an interview with Los Angeles Daily News writer Fred Shuster, Dixie Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines tees off on Toby Keith's "Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue", saying the song is "ignorant" and that "it makes country music sound ignorant. You've got to have some tact. Anyone could write a song with lyrics like 'let's go kick some Iraqi ass."

Whether you love it or hate it, Toby Keith definitely struck a nerve with his 2002 chart-topping single, "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)." When Natalie Maines expressed her opinion during the interview, it began a series of public exchanges between her and Keith.

It was an unprecedented comment in a music community known for displaying unity and friendship. Keith then responded to Maines' criticism during a Dec. 14, 2002 interview, in which he said, "I'm a songwriter. She's not. She can say my song is ignorant, then it's ignorant for her to say that because she's not a songwriter."

The pair battled as songwriters until August of 2003, when Keith called a "truce," after watching a band member lose a two-year-old daughter to cancer. “A few days after I found she didn’t have long to live,” he said, “I saw a picture on the cover of Country Weekly with a picture of me and Natalie and it said, ‘Fight to the Death’ or something. It seemed so insignificant. I said, ‘Enough is enough."

The final shot in the feud was actually fired by the Dixie Chicks when they released their 2006 album Taking The Long Way. The album featured the Maines co-authored "Not Ready To Make Nice", the band's overview and response to both the Keith feud and the controversy which arose when Maines offered her opinion of then president Bush during a concert in London.The song won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. In 2009, it was named to Billboard magazine's Top 100 Songs of the Decade.

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