Dixie Chicks No Longer — Trio Are Officially ‘The Chicks’ Now
Country trio the Dixie Chicks have changed their name. Across social media, the Natalie Maines-led group are rebranding as simply the Chicks.
On Twitter, their official handle changed from @dixiechicks to @thechicks on Thursday morning (June 25). The page still has imagery for their upcoming album release, and it has Twitter's blue checkmark to verify its authenticity. Similar moves on Instagram and Facebook look to be happening in real time.
While not explicitly announced, this name change seems to be in response to the conversation around racial injustice in America and the former name's connection to slavery. Earlier this month, group Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A for similar reasons, and pressure was mounting on the all-female trio to do the same.
The origin of the name Dixie Chicks isn't geographical, but musical. Per an op-ed in the Paper, the group styled themselves after the Little Feat album and song "Dixie Chicken." However, they’re from Texas — which is the South — and the term Dixie has come to be connected to the South (states south of the Mason-Dixon Line) and from there, the Confederacy.
Perhaps the intent is what's most important, but it seems even the band couldn’t deny the symbolism of their old name as they also try to speak on racial matters. They were bold participants in the Black Tuesday movement, with nine squares of their Instagram wall still taken over to read Black Lives Matter. Maines also has Black Lives Matter as her bio on her personal Twitter.
On their official website, the Chicks shared a brief statement on the matter: "We want to meet this moment," it reads. A statement to Pitchfork explains that the trio has been in contact with the New Zealand duo the Chicks -- sisters Judy and Sue Donaldson, who were active in the 1960s -- to ask to share the moniker.
"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 country trio says. "We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters."
This change comes at a pivotal time for the group. On July 17, the Chicks will release Gaslighter, their first studio album in 14 years. It comes after being delayed due to coronavirus and includes songs like the title track, "Julianna Calm Down" and the just released "March, March." In fact, a press briefing on that song is the first to refer to the group as only "The Chicks," but the email to media offered no context, other than links to their social media and official website pages.
In 2020, the Chicks had also planned to tour arenas, but like all country concerts, those plans have been pushed.
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