The Chicks — the band formerly known as The Dixie Chicks — weighed a few names before it agreed to drop the Southern reference “Dixie” from the band name, including some names like “MEN” and “Puss ‘n Boots.”
If you’re wondering how in the world the band got from Dixie Chicks to “MEN,” the band explained to Stephen Colbert on Thursday that the name is an acronym for their initials, Martie [Erwin], Emily [Strayer] and Natalie [Maines]. And names like “Puss ‘n Boots” or “Wooly Puddin'” would’ve been a throwback to some old “alter egos” the band once used, but another band already shared that name. You wouldn’t want another Lady A situation.
The band also addressed why it felt now was the time to change the band name.
“Just because of everything that’s going on in the world right now. It was about time,” singer Maines said. “We wanted to change it for a long time actually, and we started using DCX a lot, or The Chicks when we could and hoped it would catch on, but it didn’t. So in the moment right now we felt it was right. We didn’t even have to have much discussion about it. We all wanted to do it right away, so we did.”
The Chicks changed its name on June 25 in the wake of the George Floyd protests and all of the entertainment industry taking a look at the images they’re putting out into the world. The move followed another country band, Lady Antebellum, who became simply Lady A in order to remove the Civil War-era reference in the name. But Lady A soon found that a Black blues singer Anita White has gone by the same stage name for decades, resulting in a legal battle.
The Chicks in its initial announcement actually said there’s a New Zealand duo from the 1960s that previously used the name The Chicks, but that the band got permission to share the name.
Colbert also brought up two tweets from Sean Spicer and Ted Cruz criticizing the band for dropping the “Dixie” reference in their name and instead just settling on “Chicks,” which they accused the band of being an offensive, derogatory name for women. Spicer said the band should just be called “The,” and Cruz said the band wants to make country music but told the South to “p*** off.”
Maines simply responded to their criticism with a simple “Peace and love, peace and love.”
The Chicks released a new album Friday called “Gaslighter” and performed on Colbert after originally being booked in March but were forced to cancel due to the coronavirus. Check out the band’s live performance on Colbert of “March March” below, and check out Colbert’s interview with Erwin, Strayer and Maines above.