Will Taylor Swift Get The Dixie Chick Treatment?


Now that Taylor Swift has gone public with her feelings about politics, what does that mean for her music being played on the radio. You probably recall how the Dixie Chicks received the cold shoulder from radio when Natalie Maines took a very public shot at President Bush in the lead-up to the Iraq war back in 2003, saying she was ashamed the President was from Texas. Those comments pretty much ended their career as Country music superstars.

Swift told her 112 million Instagram followers that she would vote for two Democrats running for Congress in Tennessee. “In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.”

One of those events Swift is probably referring to is former KYGO Denver morning man David Mueller who was found guilty of groping the singer.

Country radio consultant Joel Raab tells Radio Ink he doubts Country stations will back off of Taylor Swift. “If listeners revolt, we’d have to take that into consideration. I hope that’s not the case. That said, Country radio is not playing much Taylor Swift now. The typical Country station now plays zero to four Taylor Swift songs in their gold libraries, depending upon the research, or how a station is positioned. Since Taylor switched to pop, she hasn’t had a hit in the format since 2012, unless you count “Better Man” that Little Big Town released in 2016. Taylor sings background on the Sugarland’s “Babe” (which Taylor wrote) and radio will continue to play the song as long as it tests.”

It didn’t seem to hurt Eric Church when he said, ‘There are some things we can’t stop. Like the disgruntled kid who takes his dad’s shotgun and walks into a high school. But we could have stopped the guy in Vegas. I blame the lobbyists. And the biggest in the gun world is the NRA.’

Raab continued, “Then again, there’s often a double standard for women (i.e. Dixie Chicks). The bottom line is that I don’t see it as an issue.”

Julie Stevens, PD for Empire broadcasting tells Radio Ink, “Not us! And please use the station name. If we have any cachet in the nation I want to go on record as saying if you don’t play her music because of her political leanings, you are AN IDIOT!!”

Here are some quotes from Country PDs we reached out to about this topic. The question we asked was whether they thought Country radio would back off on playing Swift’s music after she made her statement. We kept their names anonymous.

“As of the writing of this email…I’ve not received a complaint yet.”

“Hard to say really. She’s so aligned in the pop world now that I doubt it will affect her either way.”

“We will continue to play Taylor Swift.”

“Maybe in TN. Not sure it matters anywhere else.”

“I didn’t even think about pulling her music until you just mentioned it.”

“No I don’t…most of her older gold isn’t played a ton anyway…a lot of the audience knows she has gone pop and is no longer a country artist.”

“Yes, I do think it will affect her airplay. She doesn’t get a ton of country airplay anyway, but I think this will be a reason to back off even further.”


  1. She’s really not part of Country radio anymore. She’s relating to where much of her current audience is. Using politics for marketing herself. Reputation hasn’t been her greatest success.

    • Completely agree with your comment!! The other factor was timing. The Dixie Chicks made that comment not that long after 9/11 when the country was still devastated, sensitive, and very pro-America, AND supportive of the President. At least that’s how I viewed it, I tossed out all of my Dixie Chick cds, it was really upsetting. Nobody really cares what Taylor is saying nor would she sway any votes.

  2. Of all the issues plaguing radio – of which there are many – Taylor Swift airplay, because of her politics, ought to be a non-starter.
    What happened? Did she cozy up to a tyrannical MOB?
    As to John Legend: Now, There’s a thought starter and a time-consumer. (:
    However, as big shiny objects go….

  3. I think, Bruce, polarization IS the point.
    As music stations, it is up to us to demonstrate inclusion and, at least a tolerance of other opinions. So, shame on Country radio for threatening less airplay of an artist who was good enough before but is now deserving of ridicule?
    I mean, really. Is it Country radio or is it more like Cracker radio?
    That’s a rhetorical question.
    Further, if certain artists are not “right with Jesus”, do they also suffer the same fate?
    That’s another rhetorical question.

  4. Okay. Please explain how the question advances our industry. Polarization is not what we need. As some indicated you planted a seed. Why???

  5. From Here:
    Being from out of town, I have to inquire as to did “bias” become a toxic noun?
    Is it biased to want to rid government from as much credulity, cruelty, callousness, corruption and incompetence as possible by voicing a position on those issues? Indeed, it is.
    To open a conversation on any matter-of-consequence define or reveal another kind of bias? Sometimes, maybe and depends.
    But then. there are many readers who still cling desperately to the older FOX (Faux) News positioner of “fair and balanced”.
    I remind: Nobody at FOX, for example, had any interest in making a “truth statement”. It was a “marketing statement” made by the cynical and targeted at the uninformed and the gullible.
    But then, rubes wouldn’t be getting any of those clever subtleties.
    Got lighter fluid? Here’s a match.

  6. The headline shows the bias of Radio Ink…SAD that you are bringing “ism” matter to industry music selection process…

  7. The woman is smart and successful.

    Why would anyone think she was a rube dumb enough to fall for the gifter in cheif and the Vichy GOP’s con?

  8. Hysterical! Who knew she voted in Tennessee and considers herself a resident of Tennessee? Wow she spends most of her time in London with her boytoy and NYC with her girltoys!!! We love her but wow a legal resident of Tennessee..a Jersey girl!!!

  9. Why is this even a news story? So Taylor Swift is voting Democrat and Kanye West likes Trump. Big deal. Dixie chicks thing was so ridiculous and here we are today. Radio station should play music based on its merits by artists who are free to share their opinions but not use them to influence others.

  10. From here:
    Uninformed and desperately fearful rubes will respond with their natural, indoctrinated, lead-by-the-nose behaviours.
    Like “Democracy”, Free Speech is no more than an interesting concept.
    Good thing for her career that she has been a pop star for a period.
    A combination of ignorance and hate goes a long way to stultifying any group as they sabotage that and those about what and whom they have no clue.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here