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Natalie Maines Says Returning to Country Music Would Be ‘Like Going Back to Your Abusive Husband’

Natalie Maines
John M. Heller, Getty Images

Dixie Chicks star Natalie Maines has never been one to stand quietly in the corner and keep her opinions to herself. The singer’s tell-it-like-it-is style was an important part of the Texas-based trio’s enormous success, and was also an important element in their undoing. Now the brash singer is at it again, likening the treatment she’s received from country music fans to spousal abuse.

The Chicks were the hottest group in country music when Maines’ infamous onstage 2003 comments about then-President George W. Bush brought things to a screeching halt. Frustrated with his decision to invade Iraq, Maines told a London concert, “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”

The backlash from that episode brought the group’s career to a standstill, while the musicians suffered all manner of harassment — even death threats. They bounced back with ‘Taking the Long Way’ in 2006, but Maines recently told Howard Stern that the group’s future remains uncertain.

Maines appeared at the MusiCares Person of the Year event in Los Angeles last Friday (Feb. 8), and Katie Cook from CMT asked her about the current state of country music, adding that many fans still love her.

“You still love me,” Maines responded with a laugh. “Lots of people don’t love me. You know what? It’s kind of like going back to your abusive husband. I’m just not feeling it. I’m sorry.”

When Cook assured her that “We won’t hit you anymore,” the singer responded with another laugh, adding, “Ah, yeah, right. That’s what they all say.”

It looks like Maines still isn’t ready to make nice or ready to back down. She is slated to release her first solo album — in the rock genre — on May 7.

Next: Famous Country Feuds - Toby Keith vs. Dixie Chicks

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