'Nice' Reward: Five Grammies for Dixie Chicks
NPR's Mandalit Del Barco reports.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO: The song of the year, "Not Ready to Make Nice," was the Texas trio's unapologetic response.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NOT READY TO MAKE NICE")
NATALIE MAINES: (Singing) With no regrets and I don't mind sayin'. It's a sad, sad story when a mother will teach her daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger. And how in the world can the words that I said send somebody so over the edge. That they'd write me a letter sayin' that I better shut up and sing or my life will be over.
DEL BARCO: Last night, Natalie Maines, at first being taken aback by the recognition.
MAINES: For the first time in my life I'm speechless.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
DEL BARCO: As the Grammy's started to pile up, she couldn't help but gloat a little.
MAINES: Well, to quote the great "Simpsons," ha-ha.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
DEL BARCO: Finally, Maines got serious.
MAINES: I think people are using their freedom of speech here tonight with all of these words. So we get the message. There's a lot of.
DEL BARCO: Backstage, singer and fiddle player Martie Maguire stopped short of calling this sweet, sweet revenge.
MARTIE MAGUIRE: What happened to us really drove us to make an album that said a lot, and I think people kind of linked into that because it was a story and it was something beyond the music. It wasn't just songs. It was something that said something. It's made up like - political, if you read it that way, but a political stance.
DEL BARCO: The Dixie Chicks took home all five Grammys for which they were nominated. But after spending a record-breaking 15 weeks at the top of the R&B charts, singer Mary J. Blige won only three. She was nominated for eight.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "BE WITHOUT YOU")
MARY J: (Singing) Yes baby, we've been too strong for too long. And I can't be without you baby. And I'll be waiting up until you get home. Cause I can't sleep without you baby.
DEL BARCO: Blige's album, "The Breakthrough," was seen as a comeback for the Bronx native, a former high school dropout whose earlier songs chronicled her drug use, abusive relationships, and depression. But she too saw her Grammy win as a kind of vindication.
BLIGE: I have grown, and I'm growing into a better human being. Tonight we celebrate the better the human being because for so many years I have been talked about negatively. But this time I've been talked about positively by so many people.
DEL BARCO: During the ceremony, Blige took the stage with rapper Ludacris to perform "Runaway Love," a rhyme he said was inspired by her rough childhood. It's included on "Release Therapy," which won him a Grammy last night.
LUDACRIS: So you're telling me all I had to do was cut my hair to win the Best Rap Album, that's what they're telling me, huh?
DEL BARCO: Ludacris was a little more gleeful in savoring his win in light of the criticism his earlier work had received some certain high-profile media figures.
LUDACRIS: Special shout out to Oprah, and special shout out to Bill O' Reilly. I love you. I love you.
DEL BARCO: Backstage last night, the rap star said he wasn't feeling vengeful.
LUDACRIS: I was thanking them because, you know, I was faced with adversity with the both of them. And they had a lot to do with this album, "Release Therapy," if you listen to it, and why I wrote certain songs that I did and some of the things that I said. So I was honestly thanking them for that.
DEL BARCO: Mandalit Del Barco, NPR News.
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