Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire changed their band name, dropping "Dixie," a nickname for the Civil War-era South

By Karen Mizoguchi
June 25, 2020 01:00 PM
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Natalie Maines, Emily Strayer and Martie Maguire will now be called The Chicks, PEOPLE confirms.

The group, formerly known as the Dixie Chicks who were founded in 1989, recently changed their band name, dropping "Dixie," a nickname for the Civil War-era South. The name change, which has been implemented on their website and social media accounts, comes amid nationwide protests, including the removal of several Confederate statues.

"We want to meet this moment," The Chicks said in a statement on their website.

In a statement, obtained by PEOPLE, Maines, Strayer and Maguire acknowledged a 1960s pop group from New Zealand of the same name.

"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!" the country trio said.

The Chicks' rebrand also comes less than a month prior to the July 17 release of Gaslighter, their first album in 14 years.

In addition to the shortened band name, the ladies released a new song "March March" and its accompanying music video, which features footage of recent protests in support of Black Lives Matter, women's rights, gay rights and environmental activists.

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Maines, 45, Strayer, 47, and Maguire, 50, are not the only ones to change their band name in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood of Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, announced on Instagram that they would shorten their band name after their "hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face every day."

The group also explained that when they came up with the name over a decade ago, they were only thinking of "the southern 'antebellum' style home," adding, "As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the south that influenced us…Southern Rock, Blues, R&B, Gospel and of course Country. But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery."

Scott, Kelley and Haywood later "connected privately" with blues artist Lady A, who has been using the name for decades prior to the country band's announcement. "Transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had," the trio said. "We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope. More to come."