ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR NOMINEE: DIXIE CHICKS

In the last year, the Chicks have entertained in ways that many would have believed impossible.

They've sold six million copies of an acoustic, mostly bluegrass album. They've sold $49 million worth of concert tickets in one weekend – before their tour even started. They've made a country hit of a 28-year-old Fleetwood Mac soft-rock ballad ("Landslide"). And they've done it all as two of their members juggled music and new motherhood.

But they've also been in the spotlight in other ways. There was singer Natalie Maines' war of words with Toby Keith after she described his hyper-patriotic hit "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)" as "ignorant." There was the battle with their record label, Sony, which threatened Home's release and had the music industry on the edge of its seat before it was finally settled. And then there was Natalie's instantly polarizing comment about being "ashamed" that she and President Bush shared the same home state (for which she later apologized, but only after an enormous radio and fan backlash had already been set in motion).

But when all is said and done and it comes back to the quality of their music and the scope of their achievements, there's not much room for disagreement.

Comments