Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines Hit With Defamation Lawsuit

Brody Vercher | December 4th, 2008

  • Terry Hobbs, the stepfather of one of three 8-year-old boys murdered in Crittenden County, Ark. in 1993, recently filed a complaint against Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines for statements posted to the band’s website in November of 2007 and comments she made last December. The complaint alleges Maines wrongfully made a “false and reckless claim that [Hobbs] committed the murders of the three boys …” (Update: NashvilleGab has video of Maines’ statement and article posted to the Chicks’ website)
  • Nominees in the country category for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards include:

    Best Female Country Vocal Performance

    • For These Times – Martina McBride
    • What I Cannot Change – LeAnn Rimes
    • Last Name – Carrie Underwood
    • Last Call – Lee Ann Womack
    • This Is Me You’re Talking To – Trisha Yearwood

    Best Male Country Vocal Performance

    • You’re Gonna Miss This – Trace Adkins
    • In Color – Jamey Johnson
    • Just Got Started Lovin’ You – James Otto
    • Letter To Me – Brad Paisley
    • Troubadour – George Strait

    Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

    • God Must Be Busy – Brooks & Dunn
    • Love Don’t Live Here – Lady Antebellum
    • Every Day – Rascal Flatts
    • Blue Side Of The Mountain – The SteelDrivers
    • Stay – Sugarland

    Best Country Collaboration With Vocals

    • Shiftwork – Kenny Chesney & George Strait
    • Killing The Blues – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
    • House Of Cash – George Strait & Patty Loveless
    • Life In A Northern Town – Sugarland, Jake Owen & Little Big Town
    • Let The Wind Chase You – Trisha Yearwood & Keith Urban

    Best Country Instrumental Performance

    • Sumatra – Cherryholmes
    • Two Small Cars In Rome – Jerry Douglas & Lloyd Green
    • Sleigh Ride – Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
    • Is This America? (Katrina 2005) – Charlie Haden, Pat Metheny, Jerry Douglas & Bruce Hornsby
    • Cluster Pluck – Brad Paisley, James Burton, Vince Gill, John Jorgenson, Albert Lee, Brent Mason, Redd Volkaert & Steve Wariner

    Best Country Song

    • Dig Two Graves – Ashley Gorley & Bob Regan, songwriters (Randy Travis)
    • I Saw God Today – Rodney Clawson, Monty Criswell & Wade Kirby, songwriters (George Strait)
    • In Color – Jamey Johnson, Lee Thomas Miller & James Otto, songwriters (Jamey Johnson)
    • Stay – Jennifer Nettles, songwriter (Sugarland)
    • You’re Gonna Miss This – Ashley Gorley & Lee Thomas Miller, songwriters (Trace Adkins)

    Best Country Album

    • That Lonesome Song – Jamey Johnson
    • Sleepless Nights – Patty Loveless
    • Troubadour – George Strait
    • Around The Bend – Randy Travis
    • Heaven, Heartache And The Power Of Love – Trisha Yearwood

    Best Bluegrass Album

    • Cherryholmes III: Don’t Believe – Cherryholmes
    • Del McCoury Band — Live At The 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – Del McCoury Band
    • The Ultimate Collection / Live At The Ryman – Earl Scruggs With Family & Friends
    • Honoring The Fathers Of Bluegrass: Tribute To 1946 And 1947 – Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
    • Wheels – Dan Tyminski
  • Photocrap parodies Kenny Chesney:

    She thinks my protractor’s sexy
    It really makes her hot
    She says she likes my angles, I like her curves a lot
    She loves the way I measure to exact degrees
    Yeah, she really loves my geometry
    She’s the only one who proves my lovin’ theory
    She thinks my protractor’s sexy

  • I/denti/tee, a new company launched this month, aims to create an exclusive line of music tees printed with some of the most anthemic and personal lyrics ever written–lyrics starting with “I,” like “I shot a man in Reno” or “I think I’ll just stay here and drink.” Unfortunately, tees with those lyrics aren’t available yet since they launched with nine shirts, the only country one being Kenny Chesney‘s “I Go Back.” Every lyric i/denti/tee prints is licensed for use, so the songwriters and publishers get their royalties and your shirt comes with a “copyright” tag sewn on the back to showcase its authenticity.
  • Big Rock Candy Mountain dedicated today’s Christmas post to tunes “that are so horribly sentimental, so full of pathos, that they become unintentionally hilarious, and, in some ways, become great.”

    Seems it’s the old-timey Country folks who are the worst abusers of this brand of hanky waving. Today we’ve got Stonewall Jackson making Santa cry, Eddie Bond “celebrates” the dearly departed at Christmas, and Charlie Louvin of The Louvin Brothers brings the syrup to the infirm at Yuletide. While all of these are horribly wrong, the worst offender is Eddie Stubbs, who talks us through a song so vile, you’ll be trying to rip your ears off just to make it end. Highly recommended!

  • Todd Snider‘s open letter to Texas music fans, titled “Lips of an Angel Was a Hit You Dumb Ass,” makes an argument in favor of Jack Ingram and derides critics’ claims that he “went Nashville.” (via Brad’s Corner)
  • I hate to beat a dead horse, but NashvilleGab says maybe it was nerves…
  1. Clemson Brad
    December 4, 2008 at 11:30 am

    SOOO happy to see Jamey Johnson get so many grammy nods. He deserves every one of them.

  2. Rick
    December 4, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Its sad that the Grammy country category nominees are far more interesting and compelling than those typically offered by the CMA, ACM, and CMT. Its nice to see artists like Jamey Johnson, The Steeldrivers, and the Cherryholmes family among the nominees. I’m far more interested in the results of these awards than those other awards shows as the Grammy voters aren’t so beholden to Nashville’s commercial machinery.

    As for bad Christmas stuff from country artists, the Ernest Tubb Record Shop is currently advertising a spoken word version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Recorded some years ago it features the voices of many country artists including Grandpa Jones in his last recorded performance. The short snippet they play in advertisements during the Midnite Jamboree is unbearable.

    As long as Taylor Swift is singing softly she seems to do okay (in the recording sstudio anyway), but when she tries to ramp it up watch out!

    Off Topic: Megan Mullins got married this past weekend to Nashville Star Band leader (and author) John Bohlinger. here’s the report from Megan’s recent MySpace post:

    “Wednesday, December 03, 2008
    Topic: Hey Everybody!

    Just an update, for those of you that don’t know I have been engaged for quite a while, and last Sunday got married! YAY! We wed at the Nashville Palace with about 250 of our friends and relatives. Capeachy did all the flowers and decorations, John’s Italian family cooked AMAZING food, we all played music and danced for about 5 hours. Marcus was the Man of Honor, Frances was my Maid of Honor, and Tonya, Pam and Lee were bridesmaids. On John’s side was his father John, nephew John, brother Mark and cousin Tony. It was beautiful ceremony, officiated by Fran’s father, Dieter. We are off to Rome, Italy tomorrow, for one week of great times and I will post pictures and more when I get back! Also, I will be playing December 26th and 27th in Big Sky, MT at the Corral, and New Year’s at the Mangy Moose in Jackson Hole, WY. Really beautiful resort towns, if anyone needs to get away!

    Thanks again for all your support, and I will write more soon!

  3. frozenphan
    December 4, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Way to go Randy. (Travis). To have Randy and Patty Loveless both nominated really makes my day.

  4. Jim Malec
    December 4, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Those Grammy nods look a HELL of a lot better than the CMA nods. How about Album of the Year…that looks like it should look, for the most part.

  5. Jenna Vercher
    December 4, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I’m so happy Trace Adkins and Jamey Johnson got nominated!!!

  6. Jim Malec
    December 4, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Also, I can’t help but think this has the potential to be very, very bad for Natalie.

    December 4, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Where is “The Christmas Shoes” on that list of bad songs? C’mon.

    Further down the Grammy nominee list, one of the albums in the running for Latin rock album of the year is actually called “Mediocre.” Something tells me it’s not going to win, just on principle.

  8. Chris N.
    December 4, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Todd already did this better:

    Well if you ever find yourself in some old Texas town
    Look for my old buddy Jack out driving around
    He’s in a beat up Ford he got a band in the back
    Every time he pull over another place gets packed
    People going crazy, people going wild
    There’s just something about country music Texas style

    But there’s nothing wrong with Nashville
    There ain’t nothing wrong with pickin’ out in the sticks
    There isn’t nothing wrong with rolling in the cashville
    There isn’t nothing wrong that we can’t fix in the mix

    There isn’t nothing wrong with Nashville
    These rolling hills of Nashville, Tennessee
    There isn’t nothing wrong, nothing wrong with Nashville
    There isn’t nothing wrong with pickin’ country songs down in Nashville, Tennessee

  9. Kelly
    December 4, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    the grammy album list looks similar to the 9513 best of list from last year…

  10. Matt C.
    December 4, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    And here you had me thinking that Natalie Maines was getting sued by President Bush…

  11. J.R. Journey
    December 4, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Love her or hate her, Natalie Maines is fast becoming the most ‘famous for being famous’ country star in the nation.

  12. Mike Parker
    December 4, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    God I love Todd Snider.

  13. northtexas
    December 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    “As long as Taylor Swift is singing softly she seems to do okay (in the recording studio anyway), but when she tries to ramp it up watch out!”

    Her version of Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry” on the Grammy Nomination telecast has got to be one of her worst life performances ever! At least the song title fit the artist. All you have to do is listen to 16 year old Brenda Lee’s version to find out what a real teenage sensation sounds like!!

    Taylor Swift’s version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBWwb-9vB6M

    Brenda Lee’s version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jT-b5zPBTJ8

  14. northtexas
    December 4, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Should be live not life…lol! Wish you guys had an edit button!

  15. TAYERS
    December 4, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    No, “life” is appropriate. One of the worst of my life.

  16. Occasional Hope
    December 4, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Is this man suing the makers of the film Natalie got her information from as well?

  17. Pierce
    December 4, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Wow! These Grammy folks know their country music. So what if the telecast usually snubs country? At least these people know what they are talking about when it comes to the awards.

    PS: It would be remarkable if Jamey Johnson earned a performing spot on the show. Best album, best song, and best male vocal performance… seems worthy to me! (Of course, we all know that will likely not be happening.)

  18. Pierce
    December 4, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    When it comes to the Chicks, it’s hard to say whether or not the comments were slander/libel. You are free to hold any opinion in this country, and if you state “I think so-and-so murdered those kids” then that isn’t libelous. Opinion is protected in this country.

    That being said, different regulations apply to “public figures”.

  19. smokeyjoe
    December 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    You failed to mention that the Kenny Chesney T-shirt is sleeveless and comes with a free puka shell necklace.

  20. Lynn
    December 4, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I agree with everyone about the Grammy nods. Although I still have to go into the folk and bluegrass categories to find some of my favorite country albums, what a great list of nominees!

    I’ll just add:

    Best Traditional Folk Album:
    Kathy Mattea, Coal

    Best Contemporary Folk Album:
    Rodney Crowell, Sex and Gasoline
    Emmylou Harris, All I Intended to Be
    Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Raising Sand

    As for the Chicks, Natalie listed some information in a 200-page court filing that included DNA results and sworn affidavits. It will be interesting to see how they get her for defamation for that…and very difficult. She has a ton of defenses. I doubt we’ll hear much more about this. Pierce, there is only a difference for public figures when they are the ones being defamed. As in, it’s harder for a public figure to cry defamation. (Which might even apply in this case given its sheer notoriety. Hobbs may be an involuntary public figure.)

  21. idlewildsouth
    December 4, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I personally am not a huge fan of Jack Ingrams, not for any reason other than he just doesnt do it for me, but I gotta give Todd Snider props for standing up for him and speaking his mind.

  22. Marc
    December 4, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    A guy, or girl, wearing a tshirt that simply says “I go back” might just be sending the wrong message…. or the right one. :)

    Glad to see Ms Loveless get a best album nod.

  23. Marc
    December 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Side note… I still don’t get Jamie Johnson. I think I’m going to give up now.

  24. Paula_W
    December 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Marc, I dont get it either.

    AS for the Grammy nods …. HOORAY for some actual COUNTRY nominations. And especially for Randy Travis. And I hope Trisha wins Female Vocal.

  25. CraigR.
    December 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Taylor Swift singing “I’m Sorry”. What jackass let her go out and sing that song last night? I think her voice can have charm and sweetness to it but she is no Brenda Lee. I felt sorry for her because I thought that she looked out of place singing that song. She didn’t connect to it. It is time to face the fact that she really is not a good singer. And yet when she sang her own song she seemed earnest and real and connected. Somewhere in Taylor Swift there is great songwriter- but only time and experience will decide if she can ever be a good singer.

  26. Guy
    December 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    I also felt sorry for Taylor Swift trying to do justice to that Brenda Lee song with her limited chops.

    Thankfully, she sang an abbreviated version of it. Although I admire her for trying, I wonder if she really knew how poorly she did in comparison.

    It highlights how Success and Talent are often mutually exclusive; although fans see them as one and the same.

  27. Marc
    December 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Speaking of bad singing…

    I was flipping through the channels last night and WGN had some Seasonal ice skating craptacular on. What caught my eye was the introduction of “hot new nashville artist Sherrie Austin”. How old was that thing??!?!

    I’m a fan of Ms Austin’s, but that vocal performance really was awful. Felt bad for her really.

  28. Stormy
    December 4, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris also got best Contemporary Folk/Americana nods.

  29. Rick
    December 4, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Marc, Sherrie’s first US releases hit the market back in 1997 with songs like “Never Been Kissed”. Considering the way she looked back then that song title was highly doubtful! (lol) Sherrie tends to have pitch problems live and even sometimes on her albums! Sadly Sherrie seems to have fallen off the radar in the last couple of years since the follow-up single to “Streets Of Heaven” didn’t do very well on radio.

  30. Jaime
    December 4, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Ugh–“Shiftwork” nominated for a Grammy! Hope to never hear that song again!!

  31. Mike Parker
    December 4, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Are you trying to say that it’s a big ole pile of Shiiiiii…. nevermind.

  32. J.R. Journey
    December 4, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    From Todd Snider’s open letter to Texas music fans … I nominate for best line of the year
    “while you slowly turn into comic book guy from the simpsons …”

  33. Courtney
    December 4, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Cherryholmes is so good. I’m so glad they’re nominated. It’s nice that the Grammy’s, whoever chooses the nominees, have ears and know what’s good in country music and don’t just go with Carrie, Kenny, and Taylor.

  34. Gerald
    December 7, 2008 at 8:14 am

    It’s a shame that Stay was snubbed (kinda) for song of the year…. It shoulda had a chance there

    On a sidenote,
    1. Why did Last Name got nominated instead of All-American Girl? AAG is sooo much friendlier and better than Last Name
    2. Why Letter To Me isn’t nominated for Country Song OTY?
    3. How come Shiftwork is nominated >_<
    4. I love how Kenny is absent from the best Male part, but why Alan Jackson is missing too?….
    5. Why isn’t Another Try nominated for Country Collab? Carnival Ride for Country Album?
    6. Anyone think Just A Dream will be released to pop stream, considering it did NOT chart on pop chart, apart during the CR release week

  35. Michael
    January 21, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Very pleased with the Grammy nods. I can’t pick my choice for Female. And I have a feeling that George Strait may finally nab his first statue!

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