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"I do not feel it is appropriate at this time to celebrate this milestone in my career when we are on the brink of war. My thoughts and prayers are with the men, women and children who are involved in this at home and overseas."
——Celine Dion, on turning down a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
COUNTRY RADIO DECLARES
WAR ON DIXIE CHICKS
Iraq Conflict Causes Problems for Chicks, Celine Dion, Joan Rivers, Saddam
War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing... Except for Edwin Starr, who had a hit with the song, it hasn’t been very good for anyone.

As the bombs drop over Baghdad, the pop music world might seem like a hill of beans, but war fever has been catching several innocent bystanders in its wake.

Music superstars the Dixie Chicks have been hit with a nearly 30% drop in country music airplay after Natalie Maines told a concert audience in London the group was "ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas," the gals’ home.

The trio have been lambasted in events where their CDs have been burned, smashed and even run over by a tractor in an event organized by a Louisiana country station. This is the first instance of CD-burning that doesn’t have to do with illegal downloading.

Radio stations across the country dropped the Chicks from their playlists after protests from irate listeners who did not appreciate the Chicks speaking ill of George W’s Lone Star roots.

Radio monitoring service Mediabase 24/7 said that airplay for the Dixie Chicks slid on all U.S. radio stations by about 20% in the seven-day period ended on Monday. Airplay on country radio stations was off 29%, it said. Maines has since apologized for her remarks.

"As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect," Maines said in a statement.

"I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers' lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American," she said.

Meanwhile, a boycott of the band's music seemed to pick up steam, with Cumulus EVP/GM John Dickey telling our esteemeed colleagues over at R&R that his 42 Country stations are under orders not to play Dixie Chicks music, but the company is monitoring reaction at Top 40, Hot Adult and Adult outlets and that it is a "day-by-day" situation. "It is a company edict at Country stations until further notice. I'm not trying to do anything but serve our listeners. We weren't looking to pick a fight with Natalie. This is something she brought on herself. She has crossed a line. She's let her fans down. We are open to hearing what she has to say. We're certainly very forgiving people, and our listeners are, too."

Imagine if she'd said something like that about Willie Nelson.

In other news, Celine Dion has postponed Friday’s ceremony to award her a star on the Hollywood Walk of  Fame, stating: "I do not feel it is appropriate at this time to celebrate this milestone in my career when we are on the brink of war. My thoughts and prayers are with the men, women and children who are involved in this at home and overseas." Right, so now we Americans have to kick some Iraqui butt so she can afford to gas up her Chrysler. Dion is scheduled to open next week at Caesars Palace hotel-casino in Las Vegas for a three-year concert engagement. No word on whether that will be rescheduled so she can entertain the troops.

Finally, don’t expect to see E!’s Joan Rivers querying Oscar nominees about "who they’re wearing." This Sunday’s scheduled Academy Awards ceremony will not include the traditional red carpet entrances, and, while Joan will go on, a network spokesman said the show itself will be a more subdued affair. Actually, we think Saddam Hussein looks a little drab in those khakis, too.

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