Last month, The Chicks sent the country world reeling when they dropped the “Dixie” from their name, explaining that they wanted to “meet the moment” and separate themselves from the Confederate-era’s history of racism and slavery.

The change came in the wake of ongoing U.S. and worldwide protests against police brutality and racism. But it was more than that one moment that inspired their decision, the band reveals in a recent interview with The New York Times.

“We were literally teenagers when we picked that stupid name,” declares bandmate
Martie Maguire, who picked out their moniker with Emily Strayer in 1989, before frontwoman Natalie Maines joined the group.

“We wanted to change it years and years and years ago,” adds Natalie. They’d already cooled on the name by 2003, when the trio was violently ousted from country music’s good graces for publicly condemning the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

While the success they’d found under the name The Dixie Chicks made it difficult to rebrand, the Chicks ultimately made the big decision to do so. They underscored their point by releasing a fiery new protest anthem called “March March” on the same day they revealed their new name.

Earlier this week, the Chicks also revealed the full track list of their upcoming album, Gaslighter, which is due for release on July 17.

By Carena Liptak
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