CHICKS HONORED BY USA TODAY

The Dixie Chicks latest CD, Taking the Long Way, was named Album of the Year by USA TODAY in its Dec. 26 Year in Review.

"It was a calculated risk that paid off," wrote the national newspaper. The USA TODAY reviewers noted that even though the group had alienated many country fans with their 2003 anti-President Bush statements, they defiantly forged ahead with an album that did not beg for forgiveness. "But throngs of new fans . . . were enthralled by the stance and, more important, the rich, textured music the trio and producer Rick Rubin cooked up," the story adds.

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