Dixie Chicks frontwoman Natalie Maines believes the backlash she and her bandmates faced after her controversial comments would never have happened if stars weren't so afraid to speak out.

During a performance in London earlier this year (03), Maines sparked outrage when she told fans she and her bandmates were ashamed that American president George W Bush hailed from their home state of Texas.

In the months that followed, fans turned against them, radio stations banned them and they were booed during performances. And Maines believes her comments wouldn't have been met with such shock if the public was used to hearing stars' opinions.

She says, "It scares other people for us to speak out, and it scares other artists after what happened to us. But I think the more people get it out there, then it would be less of a topic and of a judgment if everyone just said who they were and what they were."

Maines defiantly stands by her remarks, explaining, "We're all aware of what I said. And my apology was for the words that I used, but not for the motivation behind the words and for my beliefs. I think we have all stood behind that."

30/07/2003 02:28