Grammy winning country trio The Dixie Chicks have apparently dropped “Dixie” from their name, a move likely brought on by the word’s historically-racist undertones as Black Lives Matter equality protests gather momentum.
Making the change quietly on Thursday (June 25), the band have overhauled all their social media accounts and their official website, which now shows artwork promoting their upcoming Gaslighter album with the updated headline, “The Chicks.” Underneath the new name reads “We want to meet this moment” and the signatures of band members Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer.
Meanwhile, the often-controversial band have also unveiled a new song titled “March March,” with a quote on their website’s splash page reading “If your voice held no power, they wouldn’t try to silence you.” Featuring footage of protests throughout history and long list of African Americans killed by police, its video seems to confirm the new band name’s political motivation, while the song itself features striking lyrics about the need for aggressive change.
The move makes The Chicks the second country group in less than a month to change their name in response to racial injustice, as the former Lady Antebellum became Lady A in early June (stirring outrage by adopting the name without consulting a black artist already using the name). They dropped “Antebellum” for its connection to the pre-Civil War South and the institution of slavery, and “Dixie” has long been used as shorthand for the same region and time period. In a similar situation to the Lady A debacle, another group based in New Zealand is also using the name “The Chicks,” but the bands appear to have agreed to share it before making the announcement public.
“A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to ‘The Chicks’ of NZ for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name. We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters,” the band said, according to an AP report.
It’s not the first time The Chicks have acted on personal political views, having been ostracized by the country community in 2003 after lead singer Maines criticized then-President George W. Bush and the just-beginning Iraq War. Their upcoming Gaslighter album itself is also a nod to a social climate which has seen women marginalized and abused by powerful men for generations. They released the album’s first single and title track in March, and plan to unveil the album July 17.