The members of Lady Antebellum announced that they changed the name of their country group to Lady A due to the word antebellum’s association with slavery.
“As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive of all. We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed,” Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood said in a statement via Instagram on Thursday, June 11.
“After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word ‘antebellum’ from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start,” they added.
Scott, 34, Kelley, 38, and Haywood, 37, explained that they chose the name in 2006 after their first photo shoot at a “southern ‘antebellum’ style home” that reminded them of the music they listened to growing up.
“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 said. “We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.”
The Grammy winners noted that the change is “just one step” toward their goal of “examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism.” They made the announcement as Black Lives Matter demonstrations continue to be held across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s May 25 death.
“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,” the trio concluded. “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 & generations to come.”
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Lady A signed with Capitol Records Nashville in 2007 before moving to Big Machine Records in 2018. They are best known for their songs “Need You Now,” “I Run to You” and “What If I Never Get Over You.”
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