In 2003, the Dixie Chicks, (pictured left to right) Emily Robison, Martie Maguire and Natalie Maines, were the most popular female group in country music history, with a number one single, millions in sales, multiple Grammy awards, legions of fans and sold-out concerts across the world.
Then, during a concert in London on March 10, 2003, just days before the U.S. military would invade Iraq, Natalie felt she had to say something about what was happening in the world. To those English fans—whose own government joined America's Iraqi invasion—she said, "We do not want this war, this violence. And we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."
The controversy that followed—documented in the film Shut Up & Sing—came swiftly and harshly. Radio stations refused to play their once-popular songs, conservative political commentators offered outraged judgments, they were labeled un-American and traitors, their concerts and CDs were boycotted, and they received death threats.