September 11, 2019 12:24 pm
Updated: September 11, 2019 1:41 pm

Dixie Chicks return to U.S. country radio, garnering mixed reactions from fans

LISTEN: Taylor Swift's 'Soon You'll Get better,' featuring the Dixie Chicks

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It’s been 16 years since the Dixie Chicks were blacklisted from a large number of U.S. television and radio broadcasters, but now, it seems, they’re back in business.

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The country trio, hailing from Texas, was featured on Taylor Swift‘s recent chart-topping album Lover on an emotional ballad entitled Soon You’ll Get Better.

As reported by Rolling Stone, the song was picked up and played a number of times by Portland, Ore.-based radio station 99.5 KWJJ The Wolf. However, some of the station’s followers seemed to have a bit of an issue with the single.

According to KWJJ morning show host Mike Chase, after playing the song on air and sharing it to the radio station’s Facebook page, KWJJ began receiving negative feedback.

Chase told Rolling Stone: “One woman [said] her grandmother had died 10 minutes prior to us playing it, and right after that, some guy goes: ‘I guess it would be better if Taylor wasn’t ramming her politics down my throat.’”

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The Dixie Chicks’ popularity took a massive hit in the U.S. after a controversial statement the band’s lead singer made in March 2003.

During a concert in London, England, Natalie Maines condemned then-U.S. president George W. Bush for his decision to go through with an invasion in Iraq. Though the rant fared well with British fans, it wasn’t seen the same way back home.

“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all,” Maines said in 2003. “We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”

The Dixie Chicks, Emily Robison, left, Natalie Maines, centre, and Martie Maguire attend the 2007 Grammy Awards.

AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File

Maines’ comments became highly publicized and sparked major controversy among country music fans. The band’s music and merchandise were boycotted, and the remarks resulted in a number of country radio stations dropping the group altogether.

In light of the new Swift and Dixie Chicks song, another user commented on a later Facebook post from KWJJ: “No Dixie Chicks. I change the channel every time. Screw them.”

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Though the controversy resulted in two individual hiatuses and a decrease in touring and concert dates, many passionate fans are still on board with the Dixie Chicks.

A number of users took to Twitter to express their excitement that the group had reappeared both on the charts and a variety of radio stations.

Here’s what some fans had to say about the comeback:

One Facebook user wrote: “People need to move on from the Dixie Chicks ‘controversy.’ What they did more than 15 years ago is commonplace.”

“People disrespect Donald Trump every day,” the person concluded. “And sorry, Bush wasn’t that good of a president…”

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Since Bush’s time in office ended in 2009, the Dixie Chicks have managed to quietly creep back into country radio rotations all across the U.S. and now, with a pop star on their side, it seems to be looking up for the Goodbye Earl singers.

However, in terms of releasing new music, the group has remained relatively inactive after releasing their Taking the Long Way album in 2006. That was the case until the release of Soon You’ll Get Better.

Emily Robison, left, and Martie Maguire, right, adjust Natalie Maines’ hair as the Dixie Chicks perform at the new Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles in 2007. The award-winning group took to Instagram on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 to tease a new album. It would be their first in 13 years. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas, file)

The song reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart, along with all 17 other tracks from Lover. It peaked in its second week at No. 63.

Soon You’ll Get Better features the country trio on backup vocals and is allegedly about Swift’s mother, Andrea, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2016.

READ MORE: Taylor Swift’s new song, ‘Soon You’ll Get Better,’ features the Dixie Chicks

The chart-reaching victory came only three months after the Dixie Chicks revealed they are working on a brand-new album.

Currently, the Dixie Chicks have no scheduled tour dates or an official album release date.

Updates about the upcoming record will be made on the official Dixie Chicks website.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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