Country Group Lady A and Blues Singer Lady A Will Share the Name
UPDATE 6/16/2020: Blues singer named Anita White, who goes by the stage name Lady A, and the country band formerly known as Lady Antebellum have agreed to both go forward using the name Lady A. According to The A.V. Club, the two acts spoke to one another and, according a post on Lady A's (the band) Instagram, they had "transparent, honest, and authentic conversations."
The post continues, saying that both Lady As are "moving forward with positive solutions and common ground" and that "hurt is turning into hope."
In a statement published in USA Today, the original Lady A explained that she accepted the band's apology — she also shared the Instagram post — and that all parties involved are "attempting to co-exist," though the singer Lady A noted that they didn't "discuss what that would look like."
UPDATE 6/12/2020 12:30 P.M.: Rolling Stone reported on Friday that a Black blues singer named Anita White has been releasing music under the name Lady A for more than 20 years. The country trio did not reach out to White before adopting her name as their own. “This is my life. Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done,” White told the outlet. “This is too much right now. They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time. If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before. It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it.” She added, “It’s an opportunity for them to pretend they’re not racist or pretend this means something to them. If it did, they would’ve done some research. And I’m not happy about that. You found me on Spotify easily — why couldn’t they?”
Award-winning country group Lady Antebellum announced that it would be changing its name. Moving forward, the band would drop "Antebellum" from its name and go by Lady A, a nickname that many fans already use. The trio has used the moniker Lady Antebellum since its inception in 2006, according to CNN.
Lady A announced the news on Instagram and Twitter in messages signed by members Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott, and Charles Kelley. In the posts, the group explained that it decided on the change after realizing that the word "Antebellum" had connections to slavery.
"When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the southern 'antebellum' style home where we took our first photos. 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," the band wrote. "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."
The group added that its members never intended to marginalize anyone or to glorify the period of time before the Civil War. The note continued, saying that the members of Lady A "are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued."
Lady A also called on its fans to join in on the reflection and honest conversations that lead to the decision, saying that the decision came after discussions with close Black friends and colleagues as well as thought and discussion amongst the bandmembers.
"Causing pain was never our hearts' intention, but it doesn't change the fact that indeed, it did just that," the group's note continues. "So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us."
The name change is only the start of a shift, the band promised. Haywood, Scott, and Kelley finished by saying that there would be more work ahead as the group continued to educate itself to become better for fans and themselves. They also announced that they will be donating on behalf of Ladyaid, the band's philanthropic arm, and set an example for everyone by committing to being better allies to the Black community and moving forward with "love, empathy and action."
"We will continue to educate ourselves, have hard conversations, and search the parts of our hearts that need pruning — to grow into better humans, better neighbors," they wrote. "Our next outward step will be a donation to the equal justice initiative through Ladyaid. Our prayer is that if we lead by example...with humility, love, empathy, and action ... we can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices while influencing our children and generations to come."