“#The Dixie Chicks are changing their name, dropping the ‘dixie’”
June 25, 2020 | 1:30pm
Amid calls for the removal of Confederate symbols and nostalgia prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement, the notoriously liberal country-music trio formerly known as Dixie Chicks have finally decided that “Dixie” had to die.
Now simply the Chicks, bandmates Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire, who have sold some 33 million albums worldwide, were widely ostracized by the country-music community after they spoke out against President George W. Bush upon his decision to lead the US into war with Iraq in 2003.
On Thursday, the 13-time Grammy-winning band announced the change with a new music video, titled “March March,” released under the new Chicks moniker. Representatives for the group confirmed the name to the New York Times.
“We want to meet this moment,” reads a brief statement on their website.
Calls for the removal of monuments to slaveholders and other tributes to the Confederacy have forced artists, especially those who identify with Southern culture, to reckon with the ways they romanticize the pre-Civil War South.
Earlier this month, Lady Antebellum made that call when they told fans that they shall henceforth be called Lady A — with no indication as to what the “A” stands for if not “Antebellum.” But the band was accused of opportunism and ignorance because a Seattle-based blues artist, Lady A, has performed under the name for over 20 years.
At the same time, Variety writer Jeremy Helligar may have helped pressure the Chicks to make a move in a piece that asked, “Is it time for the Dixie Chicks to rethink their name?”
The “Wide Open Spaces” women, in fact, avoided a blunder similar to that of the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum: They reached out to the 1960s New Zealand outfit the Chicks for permission to use the 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,” Maines, Strayer and Maguire said in a statement via their spokesperson. “We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock!”
Before the name change, in March, the “Goodbye Earl” singers released the eponymous single off their upcoming album, “Gaslighter,” and a month later debuted “Julianna Calm Down.” The record, produced by Fun guitarist Jack Antonoff and due July 17, will be released under the band’s new name.
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