Country music act The Dixie Chicks appear to have decided that the time has come to change their name, Yahoo Entertainment reported, following the decision by their colleagues, Lady Antebellum, to do the same. Both name changes come in the wake of the George Floyd protests.
In a Twitter post on Thursday morning, the band posted a video that showed, among other things, various scenes from the Floyd protests, LGBTQ pride marches, and other demonstrations, to the soundtrack of their song “March March.”
However, what the tweet contained, in addition to the video, was a new Twitter handle for the group. Rather than “The Dixie Chicks,” the handle just said “The Chicks.”
— The Chicks (@thechicks) June 25, 2020
In other words, if the band officially changed their name, they did so without making a public announcement. In contrast, another country act with a formerly problematic name, Lady Antebellum, issued a lengthy statement on Twitter when they changed their name to “Lady A.”
Dear fans… pic.twitter.com/7JlcH2NMl6
— Lady A (@ladya) June 11, 2020
Further, the band’s website is now just thechicks.com.
So did the Dixie Chicks change their name permanently? Though their management has declined requests for comment, a representative for the group mentioned that a New Zealand group also called “The Chicks” has agreed to “share” their name with the Dallas, Texas, act.
“We are honored to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters. Chicks Rock!”
According to Yahoo Entertainment writer Lyndsey Parker, this would indicate that the apparently former Dixie Chicks did their due diligence before making their name change, likely signaling that it’s permanent. Lady A, as reported by The Inquisitr, allegedly failed to cross all of the i’s and dot all of the t’s on their name change, as a Seattle blues artist who has performed for decades under the same name took exception to the Nashville act seeming co-opting hers.
The word “Dixie,” like “Antebellum,” could send the wrong message in some contexts.
In a general sense, the word refers to the geographical and cultural region that is the American South, not unlike the way the phrases “The Midwest” or “The British Isles” refer to geographical regions. In another sense, however, “Dixie” is an homage to the Confederacy, which took sides in the Civil War in part to keep slavery legal.
“The song ‘Dixie’ was the rallying cry of the Confederacy during the Civil War,’ said NPR News host Ari Shapiro.
Additionally, the song was featured heavily in minstrel shows, which relied heavily on racist imagery and stereotypes.
The Chicks, as they’re now known, are no strangers to controversy. Back in 2003, the band took heat for telling a British audience they were ashamed that they were from the same state as then-President George W. Bush. That prompted a nationwide backlash against the group within the country music community, and several country stations stopped playing their music.