Dixie Chicks drop 'Dixie' from name: meet The Chicks

Just weeks before the release of its first new album in 14 years, Grammy-winning country group The Dixie Chicks has dropped the word dixie from its name and will now go by The Chicks.

'We want to meet this moment,' says Grammy-winning trio

Grammy-winning trio The Dixie Chicks, comprising Emily Robison, from left, Natalie Maines and Martie Maguire, is the latest country group to change its name. (Matt Sayles/AP Photo)

Grammy-winning country group The Dixie Chicks has dropped the word dixie from its name and will now be going by The Chicks.

The band's social media accounts and website were changed Thursday to reflect the new name for the band, which is made up of Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines and Emily Strayer.

"We want to meet this moment," read a statement on The Chicks' website, which also noted that the trio recognizes 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 honoured to co-exist together in the world with these exceptionally talented sisters."

Dixie is often used as a nostalgic term or nickname referencing a romanticized portrait of the Civil War-era Southern United States, especially the states that belonged to the Confederacy.

The Chicks, set to release their first new album in 14 years next month, also shared a music video for their latest track, March March. It features videos and images from different demonstrations and protests over the years, including rallies in support of gay rights, demanding action on climate change and those against anti-Black racism and in support of Black Lives Matter worldwide.

The Chicks' name change comes after a recent decision by country group Lady Antebellum to continue as Lady A, after acknowledging the word's association to the pre-Civil War period in the United States and to slavery. 

The group — comprising Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley — was quickly criticized when it emerged that Anita White, a Black funk, gospel and soul singer based in Seattle, has been performing as Lady A for more than two decades.

The Chicks are the best selling female group in the U.S., with more than 33 million albums sold, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Formed in Texas as a bluegrass act, the band hit commercial fame with its breakthrough album Wide Open Spaces. The band has won 13 Grammy Awards.

The trio was shunned by country radio in 2003, after lead singer Maines criticized then-president George W. Bush over the Iraq War. The band responded to the backlash with the song Not Ready to Make Nice, and swept the Grammys in 2007, winning three of the top all-genre categories.