Fifth Harmony Follows In The Dixie Chicks’ Footsteps By Mixing Success And Politics [Opinion]

Earlier this year, Fifth Harmony became the first all-female band since the Dixie Chicks in 2007 to crack the top five of Billboard‘s Hot 100 list with their single “Work From Home” featuring Ty Dolla Sign.

As it turns out, that piece of trivia isn’t the only item Fifth Harmony and the Dixie Chicks have in common, either. Both successful bands have tried their hand at using their platform to share political views with mixed results.

While the Dixie Chicks suffered a career-damaging hit to their image from a single statement made abroad, the women from Fifth Harmony have felt little political backlash about multiple statements they’ve made about President-elect Donald Trump in recent weeks and months.

The latest example came last week when Fifth Harmony bandmate Lauren Jauregui penned an at-times critical open letter to supporters of President-elect Donald Trump for Billboard. In it, Lauren Jauregui told Donald Trump voters his victory “led to the single-handed destruction of all the progress we’ve made socially as a nation.”

Progress is an important issue to Lauren Jauregui because she admits to being a “bisexual Cuban-American woman” in her letter. Immigration and women’s rights issues are other key topics that the Fifth Harmony band member implores Donald Trump’s supporters to explore.

“None of us belong here but all of us deserve the right to feel safe and live our lives in peace. To not have to worry about potentially dying, or being electro-shocked, or beaten, or raped, or emotionally abused because our existence and/or choices for ourselves upset someone else. This is the world Trump is fostering.”

Lauren Jauregui isn’t the only member of Fifth Harmony to call out President-elect Donald Trump for his treatment of minorities and women. Fifth Harmony member Normani Kordei – who also has been the target of cyberbullying and “slut shaming” recently — took to Instagram to support students undergoing the same treatment because of their minority or immigrant status.

Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello was also outspoken in her desire to see President-elect Donald Trump be defeated. Before the election, Camila Cabello posted an image encouraging her Fifth Harmony followers to vote and keep a “dangerous demagogue” from ascending to power.

One reason Fifth Harmony has not received the backlash as harshly as the Dixie Chicks rests on the political and social climate of the country. President-elect Donald Trump won with a campaign – as Lauren Jauregui opined – filled with divisive rhetoric, and the country is still divided politically in numerous ways. Despite the name-calling and awful comparisons, none of the Fifth Harmony band members called Donald Trump something he hadn’t already been called numerous times before on social media or by public figures in the tradition media.

The Dixie Chicks weren’t as fortunate, however. The Dixie Chicks were one of the hottest bands in all of music at their height – much like Fifth Harmony – when their controversy struck in 2003.

That’s when lead singer Natalie Maines made comments about then-President George H. W. Bush that cost the band many of their fans and plummeted their CD sales, Billboard reported at the time. The relatively less-inflammatory comment Natalie Maines — a Texas native — made to the London audience the Dixie Chicks were performing in front of was that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”

Despite the relatively less-inflammatory comment — at least by Fifth Harmony standards — and Natalie Maines’ apologetic tone, the Dixie Chicks never regained the level of stardom the group once commanded. The anti-war sentiment was never stronger than during President Bush’s first term, and criticism of a sitting commander-in-chief during a time of crisis did not sit well a country at war with terrorism.

Natalie Maines and her bandmates have not let that stop them from expressing their political opinions, however. Earlier this year during the Dixie Chicks tour, the band showed an image of now President-elect Donald Trump with devil horns, a mustache, and goatee during the band’s performance of “Goodbye Earl,” according to the Daily Mail.

Mixing political statements with music — especially for successful musical acts — has become the norm since the Dixie Chicks first made their political statement. Earlier this year, Beyonce turned one of the biggest stages of the year into a political statement as she used the Super Bowl half-time show performance to condemn police brutality, CNN reported.

Like Beyonce — who not coincidentally choose the Dixie Chicks to collaborate on her recent album — Fifth Harmony band members no longer want just want to make music. Instead, the all-female group and politically-savvy musicians want to make a difference, making the lives of their supporters better.

Do you think that Fifth Harmony is this generation’s version of the Dixie Chicks? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/AP Images]

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