COUNTRY trio sues Sony, wants contract ended; claims company cheated them out of millions

Tuesday, August 28th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Dixie Chicks sued Sony Music Entertainment, accusing the company of cheating them out of more than $4 million in royalties, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The Grammy-winning country-pop group also wants to terminate a seven-album deal it signed with the Japanese corporation in 1997, the Times reported.

Emily Robison, Martie Seidel and Natalie Maines Pasdar have sold nearly 20 million albums that have generated more than $175 million. The singers contend Sony engaged in ``systematic thievery'' to rob recording artists out of royalty earnings.

``We refuse to sit back and silently endorse this behavior simply because this is a 'standard' practice at Sony,'' the Dixie Chicks said in a statement. ``This is about people keeping their word.''

Sony officials declined to comment on the suit.

Sony previously sued the Dixie Chicks, claiming the group owes it more than $100 million for five undelivered albums. In court documents, the company has called the group's allegations a ``sham attempt'' to get out of its record contract.