As the Dixie Chicks hit U.S. soil for the North American leg of their DCX MMXVI World Tour today (June 1), we take a look at five of the most controversial quotes ever uttered in country music. Cast your vote and let us know if you Forgive ’Em, Forget ’Em or Fully Agree.
Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks
Quote: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”
Context: March 10, 2003—Natalie made the comments at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire theater in London, England, during the Chicks’ Top of the World Tour. With the United States preparing to invade Iraq, Natalie directed her ire toward then-President George W. Bush before singing the new single “Travelin’ Soldier.”
Hank Williams Jr.
Quote: “We’ve got a Muslim President who hates farming, hates the military, hates the U.S. and we hate him!”
Context: August 17, 2012—After playing “We Don’t Apologize for America” at the Iowa State Fair, Hank Jr. bashed President Barack Obama as the crowd of more than 8,000 chanted “U.S.A, U.S.A.”
Quote: “Well, yeah. I think that people who want Merle, Willie and Waylon just need to buy Merle, Willie and Waylon. I’ve never been a ‘Those were the good old days’ kind of guy. I’m not big on looking back on the past. I’m not an outlaw country singer. I don’t do cocaine and run around. So I’m not going to sing outlaw country. I like to hunt, fish, ride around on my farm, build a big bonfire and drink some beers—and that’s what I sing about. It’s what I know. I don’t know about laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs. I don’t really want to do that.”
Context: July 9, 2015—In an interview with Hits Daily Double, Luke made the statement in response to a question about the hip-hop and rock influences of his music.
Quote: “Shania Twain is the highest paid lap dancer in Nashville.”
Context: Circa 2000—Country bad boy Steve Earle wasn’t a fan of Shania’s exposed midriff (or her 1999 CMA Entertainer of the Year Award) and reportedly made the comments during an interview.
Quote: “I love Luke Bryan and he’s had some great songs, but this new song is the worst song I’ve ever heard. I know Luke, he’s a friend. ‘[That’s] My Kinda Night’ is one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard. I see it being commercially successful in what is called country music these days, but I also feel like that the people deserve something better than that. Country fans and country listeners deserve to have something better than that, a song that really has something to say, something that makes you feel something. Good music makes you feel something.”
Context: September, 2013—Zac made the comments on a Vancouver, B.C., radio station when interviewer Barbara Beam asked him for his opinion on Luke’s new song.