Just over a month ago, the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum announced that they would be changing their band’s name to Lady A in order to remove any attachment to the pre-Civil War period of history their name is derived from. In a statement, the band revealed they got their name from “the Southern ‘antebellum’ style home where we took our first photos,” and that they decided to make the name change to “take into account the associations that weigh down this word.”
Soon after making the name-change to Lady A, however, it was revealed that Black blues singer Lady A, whose real name is Anita White, was using the name. White herself was critical of the name-change considering the fact that the country band did not reach out to discuss using the name, one White has used for over three decades. After failed attempts to reach a solution with the band, White has released a lengthy statement, which in part, explained why the country band’s name-change is harmful to her and her career.
Though they recognized their impact, Lady Antebellum has not been receptive to my proposals for correcting their infringement, unfortunately. It has already been demonstrated why co-existence will simply not work. My fans used to be able to listen to my music on streaming services; now they struggle to find me. Due to Lady Antebellum’s massive rebranding efforts, Lady Antebellum has erased me from every platform. Lady Antebellum has used their wealth and influence to intimidate and bully me into submission without offering any real recompense for appropriating my name. It is now clear that their apologies, friendly texts, and playing on my love of God were just insincere gestures aimed at quieting me. Well, I will not be quiet any longer.
Revealed in a statement from the country band, they are suing White after she demanded the country band give her $10 million, a move that she explained in her state, but one that pushed the country band to sue her in order to use the name. Despite the suit, White remains unmoved in her stance as she revealed in a recent interview with Vulture. “If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing. And that might require you to give up something because I am not going to be erased.”
Read blues singer Lady A’s full statement here.