Sony Sues Dixie Chicks

Band and label locked in contract dispute

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Sony Music Entertainment filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the Dixie Chicks yesterday in New York City, requesting the court force the band members to honor a contract they signed in 1997.

According to the suit, the trio -- Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Martie Seidel -- wanted to renegotiate a more lucrative contract with Sony, after the success of their first two albums. The group's debut, 1998's Wide Open Spaces, reached Diamond status with sales of more than 10 million, and the follow-up, 1999's Fly has been certified eight times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Sony claims that the group's contract includes as many as four additional albums to be delivered.

"We filed this complaint to confirm that the Dixie Chicks remain signed to an exclusive recording contract with Sony Music," reads a statement issued by 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 Dixie Chicks had no comment on the dispute at press time.

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