On June 26th, The Dixie Chicks announced that they would be dropping “Dixie” from their name, and would subsequently be going on as The Chicks.
The band’s decision to change their name to The Chicks came in light of the Black Lives Matter movement unfurling internationally. The movement has permeated through all crevices of entertainment — forcing the industry to reckon with their past missteps and indiscretions.
It has seen streaming services pull films and television series with racist undertones from their catalogue. The music world has seen seminal alt-rock act Animal Collective change previous EP artworks that represent “racist” stereotypes, and amend the title of their 2003 album Here Comes the Indian. It has also seen Björk’s label change their name from One Little Indian to One Little Independent.
The Chicks have delved into their decision to change their name which had connotations associated with the Confederate-era South.
In a lengthy feature published in the New York Times, the band revealed that they considered their name “stupid” and had wanted to change it long before the announcement in June.
“We were literally teenagers when we picked that stupid name,” said Martie Maguire, revealing that the band chose their name in 1989, as a comical play on the Little Feat song ‘Dixie Chicken.’
“We wanted to change it years and years and years ago,” said Maines, adding, “I just wanted to separate myself from people that wave that Dixie flag.”
The catalyst for the name change came when band member Emily Strayer came across a Confederate flag on Instagram labelled “The Dixie Swastika,” to which she decided “I don’t want to have anything to do with that.”
The Chicks are set to release their forthcoming record, Gaslighter, on July 17th. Gaslighter marks the first full-length effort from the band since 2006’s Taking the Long Way.