15 Greatest Protest Songs Of The 21st Century

3. Dixie Chicks - "Not Ready To Make Nice"

Key Lyrics: "I made my bed and I sleep like a baby // With no regrets"

In 2003, the Dixie Chicks' lead singer (and Texas native) Natalie Maines called out George Bush for his role in instigating the Iraq War, saying she was "ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas." Remember, this was the most popular country group in America for a time, and their fanbase consisted primarily of flag-waving conservatives.

So...yeah. This was a bold move.

The Dixie Chicks quickly found themselves boycotted and blacklisted by most country radio stations, and their album sales took an immediate nosedive. But rather than give in to the hysteria and apologize, they came back swinging with "Not Ready to Make Nice", a stirring (and incredibly catchy) anthem about sticking to your guns, even if it means risking your career.

The song itself isn't a protest against Bush, but against the insincere apologies celebrities give when they face a potential backlash over their provocative statements. Essentially, "Not Ready to Make Nice" doubled down on their previous statements, not with a middle finger, but with an earnest, heartfelt explanation.

It's easy to sing a protest song to a crowd of like-minded fans and in-betweeners ready to be swayed by your words, but what the Dixie Chicks did here was much gutsier.

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Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor.