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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
Dixie Chicks booed at music awards
Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks in Austin, Texas
The Dixie Chicks played a song live by satellite
Country music fans showed they have not forgiven The Dixie Chicks for criticising US President Bush when they booed the mention of the band's name at an awards show.

The Dixie Chicks were not present at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, but played a song live by satellite from Austin, Texas.

They got a "pretty big negative response," the show's host, Reba McEntire, said.

Despite three nominations, they did not pick up any awards, with the biggest prizes going to singer Alan Jackson and Toby Keith.

The ceremony had a strong patriotic theme, with three freed prisoners of war from the Iraq conflict invited on stage.

The Dixie Chicks got the biggest boo when their nomination for entertainer of the year was read out.

Kenny Chesney at the Academy of Country Music Awards
Kenny Chesney was named best male vocalist
Award presenter Vince Gill told the crowd: "Stop it, stop it. You know who gets blessed when you forgive - you."

But Gill said the crowd was more subdued than at the recent Flameworthy Awards, at which the band were also booed.

"It was a pretty volatile crowd that time. This one wasn't so bad," he said.

In March, Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines told an audience she was "ashamed" that President Bush came from her home state of Texas.

At Wednesday's ceremony, they lost out on the entertainer award to Toby Keith, who caused a stir with his controversial post-11 September track Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American).

Big winners

Keith, who had led the race with eight nominations, left the ceremony before his win was announced.

Kenny Chesney won best male vocalist and record of the year for The Good Stuff - his first Academy of Country Music Awards for six years.

Alan Jackson took the title of album of the year for Drive while Martina McBride was named best female vocalist for the second year in a row.

Brooks and Dunn won the 17th Academy of Country Music Award of their career, being named top vocal duo.

"Stick with us. We love you," Ronnie Dunn said.

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