- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2002


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Dixie Chicks, who accused Sony Music of cheating them out of millions of dollars in royalties, have reconciled with the company and will release their next record under a new label jointly created by the group and Sony.

The disc "Home" will be released Aug. 27 on Open Wide Records, Sony officials announced.

Financial details of the settlement were not released, but it ends a yearlong dispute that involved claims of thievery and breach of contract and multimillion-dollar lawsuits.

The Dixie Chicks Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison have sold more than 20 million of their two most recent albums, "Wide Open Spaces" and "Fly." Last summer, they filed a lawsuit claiming Sony had engaged in "systematic thievery" to cheat them out of more than $4 million in royalties and asked to be released from a seven-album recording contract signed in 1997.

Sony previously had sued the Dixie Chicks, claiming the group owed it more than $100 million for five undelivered albums and calling the group's charges a "sham attempt" to get out of the record contract.

In recent months, the Dixie Chicks joined the Recording Artists Coalition, which is demanding better relationships with record labels, including fairer contracts and more oversight of accounting practices.

In the joint statement, neither side spoke in detail about the dispute.

The Dixie Chicks said that they believe "Home" is their best album and that "our reconciliation with Sony Music couldn't have come at a better time."

"I know that the entire Sony Music team is excited to bring the Chicks and their music to a wider audience than ever before," said Sony Music Entertainment Chairman Thomas Mottola.

The Dixie Chicks' hits include "Wide Open Spaces," "Goodbye Earl" and "There's Your Trouble."

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