Country singers The Dixie Chicks remove ‘Dixie’ from name

As America lets go of symbols tied to its racist past, the GRAMMY Award-winners say they too will 'meet' the moment by abandoning a name with racist overtones

Dixie Chicks theGrio.com
Musicians Emily Robinson, Natalie Maines and Martie Maguire of The Dixie Chicks (Photo by Michael Buckner/AMA/Getty Images for AMA)

The multi-platinum selling, GRAMMY Award-winning trio formerly known as The Dixie Chicks have changed their name. Just call them, The Chicks, now.

The word “Dixie” is short for the term Dixieland, which is a nickname for the Southern United States that made up the Confederate States of America.

READ MORE: Residents of California school district want racially charged name changed and they ain’t whistling ‘Dixie’

The all-female group has a history of making revolutionary statements with their brand. They were largely-ostracized back in 2003 for criticizing the American invasion of Iraq, a position that went against the grain of their typical fan-base, Southern-state Republicans.

Hailing from Dallas, the lead singer of the group, Natalie Maines, commented to The Guardian newspaper, “We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”

The fallout from the comment was so severe that their group name became a verb, back before being “canceled” was a thing, you could be “Dixie Chicked.” The group was unable to tour or promote their music.

Still, they remained champions for equality.

The Chicks just dropped their new video, “March March,” dedicated to those protesting for all equality. “We want to meet this moment.” The group wrote on its website.

“March March,” features images of current and historical protests — for women’s rights, gay rights, environmental causes, and Black Lives Matter.

One important note is that The Dixie Chicks’ name was not just derived from being from The South. The name was actually a nod to a 70s album called Dixie Chicken by Little Feat.  Still, there is no way to get around the history of the word “Dixie” and how it symbolizes a bygone era of the confederacy.

In a recent article, right before the announcement of the name change Variety writer, Jeremy Helligar, said the word Dixie “is the epitome of white America, a celebration of a Southern tradition that is indivisible from Black slaves and those grand plantations where they were forced to toil for free.”

He urged the group to change their name following fellow country group, Lady Antebellum, who recently changed their name to Lady A. That decision has come under scrutiny as a Black Blues singer had that name first.

The backlash came from those who feel that the group’s embedded white privilege allowed them to just assume that they could have the name, without checking that someone else already had it.

READ MORE: School board crowd boos NAACP for objecting to ‘Dixie’ fight song, Confederate mascot

Natalie Maines has remained an outspoken opponent of President Donald Trump, regularly tweeting the president. Her Twitter profile simply reads, Black Lives Matter.

Gaslighter is the eighth studio album by the group and will be released on July 17, 2020. It is their first in 13 years.

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