The Dixie Chicks change their name in response to protests
"We want to meet the moment," says the band as they reveal their new name.
The Dixie Chicks no longer exist.
The band is now known simply as the Chicks.
After 31 years, the American country music band switched their name on Thursday in response to urgings to drop the "Dixie," a word that's often associated with slavery. The band also released a new video, the protest themed "March March" (see above) as well as a rebranded website.
"We want to meet the moment," Chicks bandmates Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin Maguire, and Emily Strayer said in a statement obtained by EW.
The Chicks are from Texas and their name was inspired by the 1973 album and song "Dixie Chicken" by Little Feet. As pointed out by Paper Magazine, the band did not intend to have any associations with the Confederacy and "Dixie" is often used to refer to the South in general. But it's still a term used to refer to states south of the Mason-Dixon Line, which served as the demarcation line for the legality of slavery. The song "Dixie" was also considered a national anthem of the Confederacy.
There is another band called the Chicks, however, and, in a rare move, the two groups have agreed to share the same name.
“A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to ‘The Chicks’ of NZ for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name," the former Dixie Chicks said. "We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters."
The move follows Nashville trio Lady Antebellum shortening their band name to Lady A two weeks ago. "When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the Southern 'Antebellum' style home where we took our first photos," Lady A said. "But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the Civil War, which includes slavery."
The Chicks' new "March March" video includes footage of protests across the decades and a montage of names of Black men and women killed by police officers.
The Chicks have a long history of supporting protest causes stemming back to famously slamming the invasion of Iraq when Maines said she was "ashamed" that U.S. President George W. Bush was from Texas. The 2002 proclamation led to widespread backlash and boycotts and the band was even reportedly blacklisted from certain radio stations and networks. The controversy also led to one of EW's most iconic covers ever: