The Chicks (formerly The Dixie Chicks) revealed why they chose to remove the word “dixie” from their band name.
Band members Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin Maguire, and Emily Strayer spoke to The New York Times concerning the name change.
“We were literally teenagers when we picked that stupid name,” Maguire admitted.
Originally, Strayer and Maguire named the then duo the Dixie Chicks back in 1989. The band was named after the song “Dixie Chicken” by Little Feat. In 2003, the trio no longer liked their name.
“We wanted to change it years and years and years ago,” Maines shared. “I just wanted to separate myself from people that wave that Dixie flag.”
The women felt like they couldn’t change the band name with their success. With recent events, the ladies realized just how hurtful the word can be outside of the context from the song. Strayer explained that she was on Instagram when she discovered a Confederate flag that was dubbed, “The Dixie Swastik.” “I don’t want to have anything to do with that,” she thought.
The Name Change
On June 25, The Dixie Chicks officially changed their band name to The Chicks. The band’s social media handles were changed along with the message, “We want to meet this moment.”
“A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to ‘The Chicks’ of [New Zealand] for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name,” The Chicks told Rolling Stone soon after the name change announcement. “We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock!”
Their name change was partially due to the political climate, something that they address on their upcoming album, Gaslighter. In addition to the name change, the band released a politically charged song, “March.” The music video for the song depicted Black Lives Matter protests.