THE Dixie Chicks will keep on speaking out against war despite s fierce backlash from the country music community.

The American trio were ostracised by the Nashville establishment after they stated they were embarrassed to be from the same state, Texas, as President GEORGE W. Bush, who had led the country to war with Iraq.

Fellow star Toby Keith launched a personal attack on them, and they were blacklisted from many country radio stations.

However, the three singers remain critical of the military action and insist they won't be soft-pedaling their politics - because their fans want to hear what they have to say.

Emily Robison explains, "I never hoped for our sake that things wouldn't go well over there, but it's just crazy that our government would put so many lives on the line."

Natalie Maines agrees, "We don't want those lives to have been in vain, but they haven't found any hidden nuclear arms, or anything like that. This war about oil - I wonder why the government couldn't see that."

And she continues, "We're not consciously fighting, but we're not gonna go I'm sorry for something we're not sorry for. We're willing to put things on the line for what we believe in. Musically we're confident about who we are, so it's not hard to do what we know is right in other areas.

"We realised that our fans are 100 per cent behind us. It's been so important for us to get onstage and see the reality of it all. Negative can't win!"

24/09/2003 17:40