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Resisting exile and asserting musical voice: the Dixie Chicks are ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’1

  • Jada Watson (a1) and Lori Burns (a2)

In 2003, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks denounced President George W. Bush from a concert stage in London, England leading to serious career consequences for the country music trio. In response to three years of public criticism and radio boycotts, the Dixie Chicks released their single ‘Not Ready to Make Nice’, with an accompanying video critiquing the oppressive institutional power that sought to silence them. Through an analysis of music, text and images in this song, this paper explores how the Dixie Chicks responded to the backlash and regained their voice in the music industry. The paper offers a critical summary of the political incident, an interpretation of the images of symbolic containment and resistance that are prevalent in the video, and an interpretation of the musical elements in relation to the lyrics and images. Through the intersection of lyrics, music and images the Dixie Chicks create a platform of resistance to the social and institutional oppression they experienced.

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Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
  • URL: /core/journals/popular-music
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