Natalie Maines still not apologizing about Iraq war comment

Apr 25, 2013 at 10:41 p.m. ET

Natalie Maines' comment in 2003 may have been the beginning of the end for the Dixie Chicks, but she is still defending what she said.

Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks

It has been 10 years since the Dixie Chicks fell out of favor with many country music fans after singer Natalie Maines announced during a concert that she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

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The fallout from the comment lost the group airtime on country radio, fans and even album sales. For Maines, it was a life-changing experience that made her realize she perhaps didn't belong in the country music scene.

"I definitely have a bad taste in my mouth about country radio," she told Us Weekly. "We did get supporters, but as a whole, the country music industry did not support us. Award shows would laugh at our expense. It was fun to hate us."

A decade later, Maines is still not apologizing, and she seems happy that people know what she did was very American.

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"To me, I was right from the beginning, because it's my right as an American to speak up and question our president, have my point of view, have my opinion, question what I want to question, and say what I want to say about our government," she said.

"It's very scary to me that people actually think we should just follow our leaders. If we can't learn from our history, we're nowhere. My point I try to make about that is it's not a thing I wanted to be right about. It's not a good 'I told ya so' with all these people losing their lives. War is horrible."

She added that the fans who did stick with the Dixie Chicks were the fans the group really wanted in the first place.

"I don't know about the country community," Maines told Us Weekly. "But the Dixie Chicks have fans that have stayed loyal and stayed with us, but just as a whole or a radio market, or a musical genre. I am very liberal. A lot of them don't like me, and what I have to say."

The 38-year-old mother of two will be releasing her first solo album in May, but she says fans shouldn't expect this one to be in the country genre.

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"I'm kind of enthusiastic right now," she said. "I definitely wanted it to be different. Significantly different from the Chicks. Someone might think that I'm just trying to find another genre because I don't have a great relationship with country music right now. But really, that never crossed my mind that people would even think that. To me, this album is who I am."

The album, entitled Mother, will be out May 7.

Photo courtesy B.Dowling/