The Dixie Chicks' lead singer Natalie Maines will be releasing a solo album in May, but she's made it clear it won't sound much like a Chicks record. In fact, there's little chance, she says, of her returning to a career in country music. On the red carpet at the Bruce Springsteen tribute concert in Los Angeles last week to benefit MusiCares, Natalie joked that returning to a career in country music would be "like going back to your abusive husband." (quote via CMT)

When CMT host Katie Cook asked Natalie for her thoughts on her place in country music these days, the singer began to laugh. Katie told her that there are many country fans who still love her, to which she 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."

As Natalie laughed at her own response, Katie played along with the metaphor, saying, "We won't hit you anymore!"

"Ah, yeah, right," Natalie answered, as she continued to laugh. "That's what they all say."

The Texas-based trio, who have won a total of 13 Grammys, were a country music powerhouse, thanks to such multi-million-selling albums as Wide Open Spaces and Fly, but their success at country radio came to a screeching halt following disparaging comments Natalie made about then-President George W. Bush in March 2003 at a concert in London.

Natalie's solo album, Mother, will be released May 7. Produced by Ben Harper, the 10-track disc's title tune is a cover of a song from Pink Floyd's The Wall. The album also features songs written by Eddie Vedder, Jeff Buckley, and one penned by her fellow Chicks, Martie Maguire and Emily Robison.

"I wanted this music to be very different from the Dixie Chicks," Natalie says of the rock-infused disc (quote via Billboard magazine). "Lots of albums by lead singers might just as well have been made by the band, but I think this is very different from anything the Chicks could make. That separation and distinction was important."

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