Call them the Artists Former Formerly Known as Dixie Chicks. The veteran multiplatinum country act said today that the band has dropped the Confederate-era part of their name and henceforth will be known as The Chicks.
The group also released a new protest song today called “March March” — watch the video below.
Natalie Maines and sisters Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire, who formed their group in 1989, are following the lead of fellow country trio Lady A, which two weeks ago changed its name from Lady Antebellum amid nationwide protests against systemic racism in the United States and the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The word “antebellum” refers to the pre-Civil War slavery era.
While the Chicks members didn’t make a public statement for their name change, the band’s relaunched website notes, “We want to meet this moment.” And little needs to be said about how “Dixie” plays to many these days.
The group is no stranger to politics — or to playing iconoclast to its fan base. In the lead-up to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, singer Maines told a London concert audience that she was “ashamed” that then-President George W. Bush was from her native Texas. That set off a firestorm of backlash as country radio stations noisily dropped the popular band from their playlists.
The erstwhile Dixie Chicks responded a few years later with “Not Ready to Make Nice,” a blistering response to the outcry over Maines’ comments. It became the trio’s biggest pop hit, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning Grammys for Song and Record of the Year.
The group broke nationwide with the smash 1998 album Wide Open Spaces, which became the first of four consecutive No. 1 studio sets. The trio has had six No. 1 country singles and 13 top 10s since.
Here is the video for ‘March March,” a new song from The Chicks’ forthcoming album Gaslighter, which is due out July 17. It’s the group’s first new studio album in 14 years.
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