By KRISTIN M. HALL AP Entertainment Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Grammy-winning country group The Dixie Chicks have dropped the word Dixie from their name, now going by The Chicks.
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 term Dixie refers to Southern U.S. states, especially those that belonged to the Confederacy.
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.
The Chicks are the best selling female group in America with more than 33 million albums sold in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Formed originally in Texas as a bluegrass group, the band hit commercial fame with their breakthrough album “Wide Open Spaces.” The band has won 13 Grammys.
The band was shunned by country radio over an incident in 2003 when lead singer Maines criticized then-President George W. Bush because of the Iraq War. They responded to the backlash with their song “Not Ready to Make Nice,” and swept the Grammys in 2007 winning three of the top all-genre categories.