NEW YORK – The Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines apologized for disrespecting President George W. Bush during a London concert in 2003. But now, she's taking it back.
"I don't feel that way anymore," she told Time magazine for its issue hitting newsstands Monday. "I don't feel he is owed any respect whatsoever."
As war in Iraq loomed in 2003, Maines told the London audience: "Just so you know, we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."
The remarks led to death threats and a backlash from other U.S. country stars, including a high-profile spat with Toby Keith. It also stalled what until then had been the group's smashingly successful career.
Bandmate Emily Robinson said she knew right away the remark wouldn't be taken lightly and got "hot from my head to my toes."
"It wasn't that I didn't agree with her 100 percent; it was just, 'Oh, this is going to stir something up,"' she told Time magazine.
For band member Martie Maguire, the controversy was a blessing in disguise.
"I'd rather have a small following of really cool people who get it, who will grow with us as we grow and are fans for life, than people that have us in their five-disc changer with Reba McEntire and Toby Keith," Maguire said. "We don't want those kinds of fans. They limit what you can do."
The Chicks' hits include "Landslide," "Goodbye Earl" and "Wide Open Spaces." Their new album, "Taking the Long Way," is due out May 23. The first single is "Not Ready to Make Nice."