Kelly Clarkson's ubiquitous talk show has become known not only for Clarkson's charming hosting skills but also for her aptly named "Kellyoke" segment, during which the American Idol winner performs covers of songs for her audience. During Friday's episode, Clarkson took on The Chicks' iconic 1999 hit "Cowboy Take Me Away," one day after the group previously known as the Dixie Chicks changed its name to be more reflective of the times.
Backed by her house band, who were all filmed separately in their own homes, Clarkson effortlessly moved through the song, which has become a staple of The Chicks' catalog, staying true to the original's country roots while adding some of her own vocal flair. Like The Chicks, Clarkson also hails from Texas, and while her career went the pop route, she doesn't discriminate genres when it comes to "Kellyoke." Clarkson has been filming her talk show remotely during the pandemic along with "Kellyoke," and she and her band likely filmed their version of "Cowboy Take Me Away" before The Chicks' name change, though the decision to share the cover one day later may or may not have been a coincidence.
On Thursday, The Chicks revealed they were changing their name, with a short statement on the band's website from members Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Strayer reading, "We want to meet this moment." The trio also shared an additional message in which they 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 statement read, via Variety. "We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock! — Emily, Natalie and Martie."
The country trio had been urged to change its name by fans after Lady A dropped "Antebellum" from its own name due to the word's association with slavery and racism. "Dixie," which was originally used to refer to states below the Mason-Dixon line where slavery was still legal, also has similar connotations. The Chicks are currently preparing to release their first album in 14 years, Gaslighter, which is due out on July 17.