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Dixie Chicks, Sony Close to Deal

After 10 months of legal wrangling, the Dixie Chicks are expected to sign a new deal soon with Sony Music Entertainment, according to Billboard magazine.

Sony has been home for the Texas trio for the past five years, but recent rumors had the Chicks heading to Capitol Records.

Last July, the group’s attorneys served Sony with notice that its contract was terminated “by reason of Sony’s material misconduct and material breaches.”

The Chicks still owed five albums, so Sony responded with a lawsuit to keep the group from leaving. The cross-complaint called the Dixie Chicks’ charges “trumped up and baseless,” and claimed Sony would lose at least $100 million if the group left.

The Chicks’ manager said he’s still exploring other options, and any deal is “far from done.” Sony officials did not comment.

The Dixie Chicks – Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Martie Maguire – have been consistent hit-makers since 1998’s “Wide Open Spaces.” It sold 11 million copies and was the most successful debut in country music history. “Wide Open Spaces” earned a Grammy award for best country album in 1998, an honor the Chicks’ follow-up, “Fly,” repeated in 1999.

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