Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Shut Up and Sing

Country music group the Dixie Chicks have cancelled 14 concerts on their north American tour and delayed others.

A spokeswoman said the number of concerts remained the same, with dates in Canada replacing cancelled US shows.

A band statement said the changes were to "accommodate demand". Billboard magazine in the US has reported ticket sales below expectations.

The band suffered a backlash in 2003 following remarks by singer Natalie Maines about US President George Bush.

Following the tour changes, the Dixie Chicks' statement said: "This is a year where we weren't sure what to expect.

"We were prepared for a lot of things as we figure out this new phase of our career."

It added: "We hope that our fans who were looking forward to a stop that is no longer on the tour will be able to join us at a nearby arena this fall, and we are sorry for any confusion or inconvenience these changes have caused."

The north American leg of the Accidents & Accusations tour kicked off in Detroit, Michigan, on 21 July.

'Death threats'

The band's first album since the furore, Taking the Long Way, topped the charts in the US this year and has sold more than two million copies worldwide.

At a concert in London in the run-up to the Iraq war, Maines said she and bandmates Emily Robison and Martie Maguire were "ashamed" to share their home state of Texas with President Bush.

US radio stations reported a flood of protests from listeners angered by the comments, while some dropped the band's music from playlists.

The Dixie Chicks also said they received death threats, which led to them installing metal detectors at their shows.


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