This story originally appeared on The Tennessean on Aug. 18, 2016.
Thirteen years after country music blacklisted the top-selling female band in American history, the Dixie Chicks are returning to the town that made them famous.
And when the trio performs Wednesday night at Nashville's sold-out Bridgestone Arena, they'll do so unapologetically — with a show featuring the same brand of biting political commentary that most country artists avoid at all costs, and that forced the Chicks into exile more than a decade ago.
Photos | Beyonce performs with the Dixie Chicks at CMAwards
“They have a bitter feeling about Nashville,” said Paul Worley, record executive and the Dixie Chicks' former producer. “People in the industry may have turned their back on them, but Nashville did not. And they are going to find out when they play here that Nashville has always been here for them and will always be here for them.”
Photos: CMA Awards 50
That thousands of fans have shelled out money to hear past hits like “Wide Open Spaces” and “Cowboy Take Me Away" suggests that, while the band's controversial ways haven't changed, country music fans have.
A single flippant remark about then-President George W. Bush derailed the careers of Natalie Maines and sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer in 2003, at a time when they were at the apex of country music.
Yet on Wednesday, if previous shows on the Dixie Chicks' largely sold-out 55-city tour are any indication, they will perform in front of a giant image of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — embellished with horns sprouting from his head and a devilish goatee scribbled on his chin.
"I get banned for not liking Bush and now Trump can practically put a hit out on Hillary and he's still all over country radio!" Maines tweeted last week. "Hypocrites!"