Thursday, June 25, 2020
– The Dixie Chicks are now The Chicks.
The trio made the announcement today via social media, a decision made in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and resulting actions to combat racism. The Chicks are the second band to change its name. Two weeks ago, Lady Antebellum became Lady A.
On The Chicks' website, beneath their name, it says "We want to meet this moment."
"Dixie" is a word associated with the Civil War-period South. Since the murder of Floyd in Minneapolis by a policeman, the U.S. has seen numerous protests throughout the country and in recent weeks, dealing with Confederate symbols. Statues associated with the Confederacy and buildings named after those associated with racism, for example, have been removed and changed.
The Chicks, who formed in 1989, are comprised of singer Natalie Maines and multi-instrumentalist sisters Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Strayer. They took their name from the song "Dixie Chicken" by Lowell George of Little Feat.
The Chicks made clear that their name had changed in releasing a video "March March." The 4:03 minute song incorporates various images of marches for civil rights, women's rights, climate change and LGBTQ rights along with rioting. The video includes the names of those killed in police actions or racial incidents including Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor. The video closes with "Use Your Voice. Use Your Vote. The Chicks."
The Chicks are releasing their first album in 14 years, "Gaslighter," on July 17.
The Chicks have been involved in political and societal issues before. In fact, their involvement in making a statement about the Iraq War sunk their country career. During a concert in London, England, on March 10, 2003 - nine days before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Maines said, "Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."
That led to immediate backlash, including protests, death threats and the burning of their records. Radio stations refused to play songs by The Chicks.
The group eventually resumed its career with tours in 2006. 2010, 2013-14 and 2016-17.
The Chicks was also the name of a New Zealand duo of sisters Judy and Sue Donaldson, who had a few hits in their native country in the '60s. The New Zealand group was apparently contacted by the modern day Chicks to avoid legal issues.
Lady A immediately encountered issues with a Seattle-based blues singer, who has been using the name Lady A for a few decades. The two sides apparently have reached an agreement.