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Country music fans ditch the Chicks

March 18, 2003

By Stacy Lambert

Some country music fans are pushing the off button on the Dixie Chicks.

Radio stations across the nation pulled the Dixie Chicks' music off the air after comments made by lead singer Natalie Maines in London last week.

During the concert, Maines said she was 'ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.'

After the comment was publicized, the Chicks began taking heat from fans and radio stations.

One Kansas City, Mo., radio station held a 'Dixie chicken toss' Friday morning, encouraging those who opposed the comment to dump their Chicks gear such as CDs and tapes into the trash, said an article Monday from Reuters.

Other popular stations across Texas, such as 99.5 and 96.3, both in Dallas, also are boycotting the group's music.

Maines defended her remark last Wednesday.

'I feel the president is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world,' Maines said on the Dixie Chicks' Web site. 'My comments were made in frustration, and one of the privileges of being an American is you are free to voice your own opinion.'

Waco radio stations are listening to the community's opinions on the topic.

WACO-100, Waco's country station, is currently boycotting the Dixie Chicks' music.

Michael Oppenheimer, ClearChannel station manager, said the community reaction is 'overwhelmingly in support of not playing them.'

However, 97.5 is still playing the Chicks.

Jay Charles, a disc jockey at the station, said the response from the community has been mixed.

'At least 50 percent of callers didn't think they should be banned,' he said.

Charles said the station typically only plays the Chicks' current hit, 'Landslide,' and they are playing it less now.

Baylor students returning from spring break have mixed opinions about the Dixie Chicks.

Nicola Rostek, a senior from Accrington, England, said she supports boycotting the group.

'Celebrities state their opinions without thinking of the implications,' she said.

Other students said they didn't have an opinion.

Many students said the comments wouldn't stop them from listening to the Chicks, but they agreed that it was disrespectful.

Maines offered an apology on the Dixie Chicks' Web site Friday.

'I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful,' she said.

She went on to say, 'I love my country. I am a proud American.'