Natalie Maines Compares Country Music to “Abusive Husband”

She Speaks to CMT's Katie Cook Prior to Springsteen Tribute Concert

Dixie Chicks ’ singer Natalie Maines jokes that going back to a career in country music would be “like going back to your abusive husband.”

Maines spoke with CMT host Katie Cook on the red carpet at a Bruce Springsteen tribute concert sponsored by the Grammys and MusiCares Foundation on Friday night (Feb. 8) in Los Angeles. Asked how she was feeling about country music at the moment, Maines started laughing. Cook added that many country fans still love her.

Maines replied, “You still love me. … Lots of people don’t love me. You know what? It’s kind of like going back to your abusive husband. I’m just not feeling it. I’m sorry.”

When Maines started laughing at her own response, Cook played along and said, “We won’t hit you anymore!” Maines answered, “Ah, yeah, right. That’s what they all say,” and continued laughing.

The Dixie Chicks enjoyed immense country music success until March 2003 when Maines made critical comments about then-President George W. Bush during a concert in London. The band went on to win four Grammys in 2007, but they have not released an album of new material since then. In all, the Dixie Chicks have won 13 Grammys.

Maines and her producer, Ben Harper, serenaded the Los Angeles audience with an acoustic rendition of Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” Speaking about Springsteen’s influence on her own music, Maines said, “His live show is one of the best I’ve ever seen, and he just gives it all, every song, and plays forever. And the person on the top row at the very back of the stadium feels like he’s there for them.”

Maines will release her first solo album, Mother, on May 7.