Last week, country group Lady Antebellum announced they would be altering their band’s name to Lady A in order to sever problematic connotations with the Civil War era. The shift sparked brief backlash as the band’s newly-minted moniker was already being used by a Black gospel singer, but Lady A apologized and has reached an understanding with the singer. Now, iconic country trio Dixie Chicks are following suit and have elected to alter their name to The Chicks, sharing a protest anthem to announce their title change.
Upon deciding to change their name, The Chicks were faced with a similar situation as Lady A. There is already a group that makes music under the band name. However, unlike Lady A, The Chicks were aware of this issue and reached out to the New Zealand duo of the same name. In a statement given to Pitchfork, The Chicks thanked their New Zealand counterparts:
“A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to ‘The Chicks’ of NZ for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name. We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock!”
The Chicks, who are gearing up for the release of their comeback album Gaslighter, shared the track “March March” in tandem with their name change. The single aims to inspire fans to use their voice, and their vote, to make a difference. “Tell the ol’ boys in the white bread lobby / What they can and can’t do with their bodies,” they sing.
The Chicks’ name change has already been represented on the group’s Wikipedia page, as well as all of their social media handles. The reasoning behind the band’s title change is likely similar to that of Lady A’s. The term “dixie” was originally derived from the Mason-Dixon line and referred to the collection of Southern states that used to form the Confederacy. The term has since evolved to have connections to racism and white supremacy, as many Southern Democrats severed their ties with the Democratic Party and adopted the label Dixiecrat in the late 1940s in opposition to extending civil rights to people of color. While Dixiecrats are by no means an official party, the term “dixie” maintains racist connotations.
Listen to The Chicks’ “March March” above.