Dixie Chicks Sue Sony

Band says label owes them millions in royalties

August 28, 2001 12:00 AM ET

The Dixie Chicks filed a $4.1 million lawsuit against Sony Music Entertainment on August 27th in response to a breach of contract complaint Sony filed against the highly successful country music trio last month.

The Chicks' suit alleges breach of their recording agreement, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and violation of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, claming that the company has withheld millions in royalties.

On July 17th, Sony released a statement that read: "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've 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."

The band responded: "We were dumbfounded to hear that Sony recently publicly stated that they 'respect' us, after they have gone to such extremes not to pay us what they contractually owe us. Surely all businesses are not conducted in this manner. Frankly, what they are doing, not just to us but to other artists on the label, gives this industry a bad reputation. We got tired of having to beat down the doors and send letter upon letter every time Sony breached our contract. It threatened to take us away from doing what we love, making music."

The Chicks -- Natalie Maines Pasdar, Marti Siedel and Emily Robison -- say that their albums, 1998's Wide Open Places and 1999's Fly, have generated $175 million.

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