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Pop / Rock 19/07/2001

Sony Music sues the Dixie Chicks

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NEW YORK (AP) - Sony Music Entertainment has escalated a royalties dispute with the Dixie Chicks by suing the popular country act for breach of contract. A complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan accused the Dixie Chicks of trying to leave Sony on "sham" claims that they've been underpaid. Sony lawyers asked the court to enforce the current contract and bar Emily Robison, Martie Seidel and Natalie Maines from signing with another label. Since signing with Sony in 1997, the group has recorded two albums - "Wide Open Spaces" and "Fly" - selling 15 million records worldwide, the complaint said. Sony claims the contract calls for up to four more albums. Despite being paid millions of dollars, the Dixie Chicks demanded the company renegotiate their contract for millions more, the suit said. Talks broke off last week when the group announced it was leaving the label based on false claims Sony was withholding royalties, it alleged.

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