The Chicks Open Up About Changing Name From ‘Dixie Chicks’ in Summer of 2020

by Chris Haney

On Friday, country music trio The Chicks joined Apple Music for an interview where they touched on the band’s name change last year.

In June 2020, without any announcements, The Dixie Chicks transitioned to The Chicks. After years of success in the late ’90s and 2000s, the trio distanced themselves from their original name. After winning 13 Grammy Awards, the band wanted to move on from the name closely associated with the Confederate-era South.

Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Strayer chose not to comment on the name change at the time, but have since spoken out on the transition. During their recent interview, the three musicians were asked about the switch.

“We knew that needed to happen for quite some time,” Maguire admitted. “We were feeling uneasy about it.”

“Trying to mature with that name is really hard. It has so many connotations that make people think they know who you are based on your name. And it just kind of felt icky,” Maguire added.

The Chicks Distanced Themselves From Their Old Name Years Ago

The Chicks had already distanced themselves from their old name beginning years ago. Dating back to their 2014 tour, the band changed their branding on stage and on their merchandise. They simplified The Dixie Chicks to three letters: DCX. However, the subtle change didn’t catch on the way they would’ve liked.

In 2020, George Floyd died after a policeman kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd’s death along with other police-related fatalities in the Black community led to the Black Lives Matter movement’s prominence. Numerous protests and marches occurred across the country as civil unrest swept the nation. Around this time, the band decided a full name change was overdue.

Yet it took the three women and their team some time to figure out the name change. In fact, they had to bring in lawyers to make sure everything was legally changed from a branding standpoint.

Maines said they didn’t feel the weight of The Dixie Chicks’ name until they had already changed it. Once they renamed themselves though, she said it felt right. Additionally, Maines said she wishes they would’ve gone with The Chicks from the get-go.

“It’s not like we were walking around feeling burdened by this name,” Maines explained. “It was more like when something changes, once it happens, then you realize the weight. Like you didn’t even know you were carrying that weight until it was gone. And then it’s like, oh yea, The Chicks, that’s who [we are]. We’re The Chicks, what were we thinking, that’s a way cooler name!”