In 1999, the Dixie Chicks had a hit with “Goodbye Earl,” but today (June 25), we’re all saying goodbye to Dixie Chicks — or more accurately, just the “Dixie” part. The trio have announced they’re now going by just The Chicks, after weeks of racial-justice protests, toppled Confederate statues, and even similar name changes within the country-music community.
“We want to meet the moment,” The Chicks — Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin Maguire, and Emily Strayer — said in a statement. “Dixie” as a term can refer to the Confederacy, though it also can refer to the South in general (The Chicks hail from Texas). In addition to the name change, the trio also unveiled a brand-new single called “March March” as well as a powerful accompanying video that spans generations of activists and ends with a long, long list of names of Black women and men killed by police and vigilantes in the United States.
The clip opens with a quote: “If your voice held no power, they wouldn’t try to silence you.” Before long, it’s delved into clips from LGBTQ+ rallies and March for Our Lives as well as the ongoing police-brutality demonstrations of the past month. Greta Thunberg, Black women suffragettes, 20th-century civil-rights marchers, and so many more activists also get featured, before the video turns to its call to action: “Use your voice. Use your vote.”
The Chicks are no strangers to activism. Their career famously dipped in 2003 after Maines expressed “frustration” with then-President George W. Bush and his decision to invade Iraq (“Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas,” she said onstage at a concert in London). In the 17 years since then — as the “March March” video shows — the group’s voice has only grown louder.
Earlier this month, country-pop group Lady Antebellum shortened their name to Lady A in response to ongoing racial-justice protests around the globe. They had been criticized for their name, which they’d used since forming in 2006, for its ties to the pre-Civil War American South and its rampant slavery. They were criticized, too, for taking the same name as a 61-year-old Seattle blues singer with decades of performing. “They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time,” she told Rolling Stone. “If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before.”
Watch the The Chicks’s empowering “March March” video above, and stay tuned for their newest album, Gaslighter (produced by Jack Antonoff), out on July 17.
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