GRAMMYS: Free Speech Makes Comeback Of The Year


Connecting past and present, one-time folk protest queen Joan Baez introduced current freedom-of-speech fighters and five time Grammy nominees the Dixie Chicks, still “Not Ready to Make Nice” to the country conservatives and spineless radio programmers who totally abandoned them for criticizing (barely) the President’s pre-emptive war tactics.

An hour later, the same tune was named Song of the Year, a recording industry affirmation that left the group’s usually outspoken Natalie Maines speechless “for the first time in my life,” she declared. But by the time the Chicks returned to take Best Country Album for “Taking the Long Way,” Maines was willing to gloat, just a mite. They also scored best country performance by duo or group, the prestigious record of the year for “Not Ready” and and finally Album of the Year, making them the night’s highest profile winner.

“I’m finally ready to make nice,” Maines now concluded. “The people are really using their freedom of speech. We get the message.”

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