Ever since Lady Antebellum shortened its name to Lady A so the group could distance itself from a term associated with the Civil War, think-pieces and online debates have asked if the Dixie Chicks should follow suit. After all, the progressive-minded country trio of Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire's moniker might remind some of the Confederacy, even if their name references the Little Feat song "Dixie Chicken."
Without any sort of official announcement (aside from a website header that reads "we want to meet this moment"), Dixie got dropped from the veteran act's name. On social media and in a June 25 press release for new song and music video "March March," the country band's billed simply as The Chicks.
The first video since the sudden name change champions a spirit of protest through images of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement and historic snapshots of common people fighting for their rights. It ends with a list of Black people murdered in recent years, including George Floyd.
It's the latest pop-flavored, socially-aware taste of what's to come from Gaslighter, The Chicks' first studio album since their 2006 release Taking the Long Way, which won five Grammy awards, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Song of the Year (for "Not Ready to Make Nice"). Gaslighter arrives on July 17.
The Dixie Chicks made their major label debut in 1998 with Wide Open Spaces, which spawned the hits "You Were Mine," "There's Your Trouble" and the title track. The trio followed the success of Wide Open Spaces with Fly, which featured "Cowboy Take Me Away," "Goodbye Earl" and "Ready to Run."
In 2002, the trio released Home, which marked a switch to a more acoustic, rootsy sound for the band. The following year, while onstage in London, Maines made her now infamous statement about President George W. Bush, "We do not want this war, this violence and we're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas." Following the comment against the invasion of Iraq, the trio was removed from several country radio stations around the nation. Their single "Not Ready To Make Nice" from Taking the Long Way addresses the response to Maines' statement.