In 2000, two hits from totally different genres got revenge against abusers — and provoked tellingly different reactions
Those similarities, though, didn’t extend to the way the songs were received: while both were popular, only “Earl” prompted public consternation -- which proved convenient for the song, from a sales and publicity perspective. In retrospect, it’s a response that appears to have less to do with its content and more to do with who was singing it.
, was initially released in mid-1999, but received a full promotional push after the album entered the Billboard 200 at no. 1 in early October with 213,000 copies sold in its first week (coincidentally, knocking the Dixie Chicks’“This is going to be a female anthem record, because I have so much respect for myself and I want other females to have that same respect for themselves,” she told the
Yet critics were mostly positive about “Love Is Blind,” and didn’t raise any red flags about the song’s brutality. The“Goodbye Earl” was certainly received as a war cry, even if it wasn’t necessarily intended that way. “It's an anti wife-beater song, not an anti-man song,” Natalie Maines insisted a few months before the track was released as a single. “We love men."
. The group earned accolades -- Grammys, gold and platinum records and more -- that they started chronicling with matching chicken footprint tattoos (by fall 1999, they had six). They were touring with George Strait, Tim McGraw -- and the
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