Country Rocks the Grammys as Chicks, Carrie Clean Up

How appropriate that the Grammys did a tribute to L.A. country band The Eagles at the 49th Annual Ceremony, since country took over the ceremony at the Kodak Theatre.

For the first time in Grammy history, all four of the general categories were won by country artists, led by Dixie Chicks, who won Record, Song and Album of the Year. Carrie Underwood, who sang the Chicks hit “Sin Wagon” during country week during her Idol run, won Best New Artist.

Underwood was also a winner for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her hit, “Jesus, Take the Wheel”, which was named Best Country Song. The Chicks won Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo/Group for the fifth time, and Best Country Album for the fourth time. Vince Gill picked up his astonishing ninth Best Male Country Vocal Performance trophy for “The Reason Why.”

Here’s the full list of country winners at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards:

Album of the Year: Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way

Record of the Year: Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready to Make Nice”

Song of the Year: “Not Ready to Make Nice” – Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison & Dan Wilson

Best New Artist: Carrie Underwood

Best Country Album: Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way

Best Female Country Vocal Performance: Carrie Underwood, “Jesus, Take the Wheel”

Best Male Country Vocal Performance: Vince Gill, “The Reason Why”

Best Country Performance By a Duo/Group with Vocal: Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready to Make Nice”

Best Country Song: “Jesus, Take the Wheel” – Brett James, Hillary Lindsey & Gordie Sampson

Best Country Vocal Collaboration: “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” – Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles

Best Country Instrumental Performance: “Whiskey Before Breakfast” – Bryan Sutton & Doc Watson

Best Bluegrass Album: Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Instrumentals


  1. I’m glad the Dixie Chicks one; they must feel vindicated. I think folks are still voting against BUSH — it feels so good.

    Willie should have won best country album, though. His “You Don’t know me: The Songs of Cindy Walker” was the BEST country album, imho. :)

    I like your site.

  2. Willie’s becoming the Susan Lucci of the Best Country Album Grammy. He’s been nominated so many times for it. I think he should submit Songbird in the Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album category next year. That’s brought Grammys to Nickel Creek, Emmylou Harris, John Prine and Johnny Cash.

  3. If Grammy voters didn’t have their heads so firmly up their posteriors, he’d have won this year. He made a truly great COUNTRY album, the only such album out of this years’s nominees (the Josh Turner album was Country, it just wasn’t great).

    I would have put the Dixie Chicks in the Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album but THAT would have been embarrassing to the Academy because that would have put the Dixie Chicks up against the iconic Bob Dylan, and I don’t think Grammy voters have enough courage to put him behind the Chix.

  4. Grammy doesn’t decide which category the album goes in; the artist’s handlers do.

    Chicks chose country, Dylan chose Contemporary Folk/Americana. Both Springsteen and Dylan won Grammys last night in the folk categories that they probably would’ve lost had they gone for the more competitive Rock category.

    Madonna was smart enough to put her record up for Best Dance Album, which she won, as she certainly would’ve lost Best Pop Album to John Mayer, as Justin Timberlake did.

    You can read how the Grammy process works at the website. It’s very informative.

  5. I’ve read the process – it truly sucks

    Re the Chicks : but for a group that denied its ties to Country audiences (and for whom country audiences have largely lost interest) it was somewhat hypocritical to submit their album as Country, particularly since it really is an alt-Coutry or Modern Folk album anyway,

    Actually I have a great problem with the self-nominating process used by NARAS in that it lacks a certain integrity. Not that any of the awards organizations are overflowing with integrity,

    I think perhaps Waylon had the right idea (I really miss his prickly honesty and his musical vision and integrity)

  6. “Country Rocks the Grammys”? Maybe “country,” but not country. Last night was all about a thorough snubbing of Nashville and country music. Not just everything surrounding the Chicks’ win, but the whole way country was presented. I loved Carrie Underwood’s tribute to Bob Wills, but the rest of the performance? Please. I wish people would stop referring to the Eagles as a “country” group, because they are not and never were, though I admit they sound more country than a lot of stuff on the radio today. So the Grammys give us Rascal Flatts, undoubtely the worst artist “country” music has to offer, doing a tribute to a rock-country group at best that just happens to be represented at that year’s awards by an artist (Don Henley) who could not be more obvious about his admiration for the Dixie Chicks and their disdain for the country music establishment. In summary, country is the most listened to genre in all of music yet at the year’s biggest awards show it is represented by one performance that consists of one classic country song and three rock covers and five awards for a group that asks not to be identified with country music and an album/single that received virtually no airplay on mainstream country radio. Country rocks the Grammys? More like the Grammys rocked country. I don’t think there are too many hurt feelings in Nashville, but that doesn’t make it any less disgusting.

  7. Well said, Matt

    The Eagles are not, and never were Country; however, they do serve as a good litmus test. Acts that cite the Eagles as a primary influence are “faux country”. Acts that cite Haggard, Owens,Randy Travis are Country.

    As for Don Henley, the less said the better,

    I had Tivo’d the Grammy presentation and finally got around to watching it this morning, Kudos to Carrie but razzies to the most of the rest of the so-called “Country” acts. I would love to see a Grammy show where the music country artists salute is Faron Young or Hank Snow or Porter Wagoner. Not the Iggles !!

  8. Country audiences have not lost interest in the Dixie Chicks, only the extremists, hyper-conservatives, stupid Southern good ol’ boys (Bubbas), and country radio programmers. The rest of us country music fans are still here and still love the Chicks.

    The album is an artistic triumph, and although some voters probably voted for the politics and not the artistry, these types of awards are never without political undercurents anyway. The wins were well-deserved.

  9. Radio programmers are driven by greed – if playing the Dixie Chicks will put folding green in the pocket, they will be played

    BTW – stereotyping of the sort you just engaged in, reveals far more about you than about the group you stereotyped. The are plenty of Country music fans who voted for Gore and for Kerry, that lost interest in the Chicks

    For what it’s worth, used copies of TAKING THE LONG WAY are incredibly easy to find. My wife asked me to pick up a copy for her daughter so I shelled out a whopping $3.21 for it . According to Lee, the owner of the Independent Record Shop I frequent, at his shop the disc was purchased mostly by folks who never buy Country music. On the other hand, his Country crowd went for the Wreckers CD in a big way.

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