In late June, the country trio formerly known as the Dixie Chicks announced that they were dropping the word "Dixie" from their name, given its association with the Confederacy and, therefore, slavery. They're now going by, simply, the Chicks — a move, they say in a new interview, they've wanted to make for a long, long time.

"We were literally teenagers when we picked that stupid name," band member Martie Maguire says in a new interview with the New York Times. She and her sister and bandmate Emily Strayer selected the moniker back in 1989 as a nod to the Little Feat song "Dixie Chicken."

"We wanted to change it years and years and years ago," adds Chicks lead singer Natalie Maines, who joined the band after the name had already taken hold. She furthers, "I just wanted to separate myself from people that wave that Dixie flag."

The Chicks formed in Texas and scored awards, acclaim and hit songs within country music in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but were blackballed after Maines made a lightly derogatory comment about then-President George W. Bush during a concert in London, England. The genre has done them no favors in the years since, though their most recent album, 2006's Taking the Long Way, won the trio multiple Grammy Awards.

When Strayer recently came across a Confederate flag on Instagram and noticed that it was referred to as a "Dixie Swastika," she knew it was time to finally make that long-considered change.

"I don’t want to have anything to do with that," she says she thought at the time.

The Chicks will release their first album under their new name, also their first record in 14 years, next Friday (July 17). Gaslighter features 12 songs; the trio worked with Jack Antonoff on the project.

In 2020, the Chicks had also planned to tour arenas, but like all country concerts, those plans have been pushed.

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