The Dixie Chicks have officially dropped "Dixie" from the band's name and will now be going by The Chicks, making the switch official on their website and all social media handles on Thursday morning. "We want to meet this moment," a message on the group's site read, signed by band members Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer.
In an additional statement, the trio thanked New Zealand-based singing duo The Chicks, a sibling pair active in the '60s, for allowing them 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," the message read, via Variety. "We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock! — Emily, Natalie and Martie."
Many fans had wondered whether The Chicks would change their name after Lady A dropped "Antebellum" from its moniker due to the word's associations with slavery and racism. The word "Dixie" is also a Civil War-era term that served as a nickname for the Southern United States, specifically the Confederate states. It originally referred to states below the Mason-Dixon line and later became a cultural reference. In 2018, a Civil War-themed dinner-theatre attraction at Dolly Parton's theme park Dollywood changed its name from Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede to Dolly Parton's Stampede after the name and theme of the show raised concern. The Chicks, who are from Texas, were inspired by the 1973 album and song "Dixie Chicken" by Little Feat for their original name.
Like The Chicks, Lady A's new name was also being used by another artist, a Seattle-based blues singer who had been using the moniker for years. The country trio Lady A did not contact Anita White, stage name Lady A, ahead of its own name change and the failure to do so resulted in controversy, though the two acts have since been in discussion.
The Chicks' next album, Gaslighter, is due out on July 17, and the group shared a new song on Thursday that thematically coincides with the name change. Titled "March March," the drumbeat-anchored track is an exploration of social issues including women's rights, underpaid teachers, gun control and more. The accompanying music video features footage of recent protests, historical footage and social activists like Emma Gonzalez, who earns a shoutout from The Chicks. The video began with a quote that read, "If your voice held no power, they wouldn’t try to silence you." In addition to the online name changes, the cover of Gaslighter, which was previously released, has been amended to reflect the band's new name.