By People Staff
November 08, 2006 12:00 PM


It began with “The Incident.” That’s how the Chicks—(from left) Emily Robison, 34, Natalie Maines, 32, and Martie Maguire, 37—refer to the moment in ’03 when Maines made anti-President Bush comments that outraged many fans. Then Maguire fanned the flames by telling TIME the band would “rather have a smaller following of really cool people …than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith. We don’t want those kinds of fans.” The result? The band gets little airplay on country radio, has been shut out of the CMAs and has seen concert attendance dwindle. Still, a new documentary about the group, Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and their new CD Taking the Long Way, led by the defiant single “Not Ready to Make Nice,” has sold more than 1.5 million copies. “We all say we’d never change a thing,” Robison has said. “It’s brought us much closer.”