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Country Weekly - August 21, 2001

Will the Dixie Chicks fly the coop?  Sony Music Entertainment filed a federal lawsuit against the Dixie Chicks July 17 for breach of contract over a royalties dispute.  Reportedly, both parties were in talks to renegotiate the trio's contract until things fell apart and the platinum-selling Chicks allegedly announced they were leaving the label.  The indication is that Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Martie Seidel feel they've been unfairly denied royalites, or money generated by sales of their albums.  Sony's complaint accuses the Chicks of making "sham" claims about being underpaid and asks the court to enforce the current contract - which would hold them to five more albums and prevent them from jumping to another label.  The Chicks have sold more than 19 million copies of their first two Sony CDs.  A few days after the suit was filed, Sony issued a kinder, gentler statement: "We filed this complaint to confirm that the Dixie Chicks remain signed to an exclusive recording contract with Sony Music.  We take great pride in the work we have done in establishing the Dixie Chicks as the most popular and biggest-selling female country group of all time.  We have tremendous respect for all of the Dixie Chicks, as well as for their extraordinary music."  So far, the Chicks have not issued a statement.

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