On the eve of the Iraq war in 2003, Maines told a London audience: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."
That immediately made the band targets of hate mail, boycotts and radio phone-ins.
"I for the first time in my life am speechless"
The Dixie Chicks
But the US mood has changed considerably since the Iraq war began.
The standing ovations the Chicks received on Sunday illustrated how much the political climate has changed regarding the Iraq war, and even Bush.
"That's interesting," Maines crowed from the podium after the country award was handed out.
"Well, to quote the great 'Simpsons': 'Heh-Heh,'", she said, invoking a character known for his gloating laugh from The Simpsons TV show.
"Just kidding," said Maines.
"A lot of people just turned their TVs off right now. I'm very sorry for that."
The Dixie Chicks won everything they were nominated for at the awards including best country album, even though the group do not consider themselves to be country artists any more.
Maines could not resist the irony of winning the award following the backlash received by the genre's power brokers.
When the song Not Ready to Make Nice won song of the year, Maines said: "I for the first time in my life am speechless."
But she quickly got over it.
|Mary J Blige even thanked the |
tape delivery boy [AFP]
On the verge of tears, she thanked her husband and her children for their support.
"They're the ones that probably had it the hardest over the last three years, and I just wanted to recognise that we know what you went through. Thank you very much."
Mary J Blige, the US soul singer, set a Grammy record to go with the armful of awards she won on Sunday for "most people thanked in a single acceptance speech".
Accepting her R&B album of the year award for The Breakthrough, Blige dropped 55 names in three minutes, including God, Jesus, her three children, countless record-company executives and the tape delivery boy.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers won three awards for their double-disc Stadium Arcadium, while country singer and former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood won best new artist.
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