The group had always been unofficially referred to as simply the Chicks by fans and associates, but losing the “Dixie” is still a surprise, albeit a pleasant one to some supporters who had been quietly uncomfortable with the name and its historic connotations.
“We want to meet this moment,” the country-pop trio said in a one-sentence statement on their website, alluding to the change.
In an additional statement provided by the group’s press representative, the Chicks added: “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. Chicks Rock! — Emily, Natalie and Martie”
The move became official Thursday morning on all their social media accounts and in a press release announcing their new single, “March March,” although it appeared on these sites and in these materials without any formal announcement being made.
Variety had recently published a guest column titled “After Lady Antebellum, Is It Time for the Dixie Chicks to Rethink Their Name?”
Lady Antebellum shortened its name to Lady A — also a name the group had long unofficially been known by to fans and the industry — earlier in June. In that case, Lady Antebellum also ran into an instance of someone already using the new name, although the group apparently did not realize it at the time the change was announced. The group has been in negotiations with the blues singer known as Lady A since.
As of Thursday morning, the name “Dixie Chicks” still appeared as a remnant in a few spots in the group’s official media, and dixiechicks.com is still active as a web address. However, the fact that they’d abandoned the Twitter handle @dixiechicks was immediately apparent, as it’d been quickly snapped up by someone with 0 followers.
The band’s first album in 14 years, “Gaslighter,” comes out July 17. Their previous release, 2006’s “Taking the Long Way,” won them the album, record and song of the year honors at the Grammys. They’ve continued to tour in the intervening years despite staying out of the recording studio until reconvening with producer Jack Antonoff for new sessions last year.