Grammy-winning country group The Dixie Chicks have dropped the word “dixie” from their name, now going by The Chicks.
The word “dixie” is derived from the name Jeremiah Dixon, a surveyor of the Mason-Dixon line, which defined the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania, separating free and slave states subsequent to the Missouri Compromise. The Chicks’ decision to rename their group was made in the wake of the reignited Black Lives Matter movement, a direct response to the killing of George Floyd and unceasing police brutality against unarmed Black men and women.
The band’s social media accounts and website were changed on Thursday to the refer to the new name for the band, which is made up of Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines and Emily Strayer. The band also recognized that the name was already in use by a band in New Zealand.
“A sincere and heartfelt thank you goes out to ‘The Chicks’ of NZ for their gracious gesture in allowing us to share their name. We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters,” the band said in a statement.
The move follows a decision by country group Lady Antebellum to change to Lady A after acknowledging the word’s association to slavery. A statement on The Chicks’ website said “We want to meet this moment.”
The Chicks, who are releasing their first new album in 14 years next month, also released a new video for their new song, “March March” that features videos and images from the recent Black Lives Matter rallies.
Lady A received criticism with their name switch after a Black singer revealed she’d been performing as Lady A for years.