Country band The Dixie Chicks changed its name to The Chicks. The new name now appears on the trio’s newly-released song and their social media accounts.
The move comes as The Chicks — comprised of Emily Strayer, Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire — dropped their new single “March March” off their fifth studio album Gaslighter on Thursday about the ongoing protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis. The trio has changed its website URL as well as its official Twitter and Instagram account handle to reflect their new name.
Rolling Stone reports:
The protest song, produced by Jack Antonoff, combines a minimalist electronic beat with subdued instrumentation from Maguire’s fiddle and Strayer’s banjo.
Lyrically, Maines addresses everything from Greta Thunberg and youth climate protests to gun violence and underpaid school teachers, over a music video that edits together footage from recent Black Lives Matter protests and police confrontations. Toward the end, as Maguire dives into a fiery fiddle solo, the names of black Americans killed by police flash onscreen, and the video concludes with a message from the Chicks — “Use your voice. Use your vote.” — along with links to various social justice organizations and nonprofits.
The Chicks that soared to fame in the late 1990s all but vanished from music’s main stage after lead singer Natalie Maines told a show in London she was “ashamed” that then-President George W. Bush hailed from Texas — and that the band did “not want this war, this violence,” referring to the then-impending invasion of Iraq.
The comment went viral and many country radio stations quickly ditched their music — which included hits like “Wide Open Spaces,” “Goodbye Earl” and a popular cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.”
“Can the words that I said / Send somebody so over the edge / That they’d write me a letter / Saying that I better Shut up and sing / Or my life will be over?” Maines sings in the group’s only mainstream success post-incident to date, “Not Ready To Make Nice.”
Country is considered by many as US music’s most conservative genre. Many critics saw the trio’s ouster as a turning point that emphatically erased any edge it had left, with artists fearing getting “Dixie Chicked” if they voiced opinions.
“I feel like we are tainted,” Maines told Rolling Stone in 2013.
The name change comes after Grammy-winning country trio country band Lady Antebellum announced that it was dropping the latter half of their name over its historical connection to pre-Civil War south. The band said they will now be named “Lady A.”
The AFP contributed to this report.