The Chicks Change Not Just Name But Management, as John Silva Steps In (EXCLUSIVE)

dixie chicks
Robin Harper

Changes are afoot in the Chicks’ camp, and that’s not just whistling the absence of “Dixie.” On top of a name switch, the superstar country-pop trio formerly known as the Dixie Chicks has also made a management change, Variety has learned. The group is now being represented by John Silva’s Silva Artist Management.

There, the Chicks join a stable that includes Foo Fighters, Beck, Nine Inch Nails, St. Vincent, Jenny Lewis and the Beastie Boys. Silva came to renown in the early ’90s as a manager for Nirvana.

It was just over two years ago that the Chicks made their last management change, signing with Monotone/LBI Entertainment, after meeting with a succession of high-level managers. The change was necessitated at that time because their long-time rep, Simon Renshaw, who had worked with the group since 1995, was retiring after 43 years in the music business.

These are momentous times for the Chicks, who have their first album in 14 years, “Gaslighter,” coming out July 17.

The group made headlines Thursday by officially changing its name, with little overt fanfare from their camp itself but a mountain of immediate attention from the media and fans (and detractors, too) once a press release went out about a new single and video, “March March,” that included the abbreviated moniker. While no explanation was offered, the group did put a signed quote on its website — “We want to meet this moment” — that made it clear the change had to do with objections raised in the current climate about historical associations the term “Dixie” has with the Confederate states during the era of slavery. All previously released artwork and merch that had previously been unveiled for “Gaslighter” was immediately changed, along with the branding on their websites and social media accounts.

Although the Dixie Chicks had not recorded a new album since sweeping the Grammys’ album, record and song of the year categories with their 2016 collection “Taking the Long Way,” they’ve come back together for several successful tours in the intervening years. Their last global tour of arenas and amphitheaters in 2016-17 resulted in a live album, DVD and theatrically released concert film, all titled “DCX MMXVI Live.”