Luke Bryan Thinks the ‘Aftermath’ of the Lady Antebellum Name Change Is ‘a Mess’

Not holding back. Luke Bryan weighed in on the drama between Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, and blues singer Lady A, who has been performing under the name for decades.

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“You know, I don’t think they were anticipating the aftermath of being called Lady A,” the American Idol judge, 44, said during an interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen on Tuesday, August 11. “I can say that for years, everyone in the community, in the country music community has really referred to them as Lady A. Like, I would call and say, ‘Hey, get the Lady A guys on the phone.'”

Luke Bryan Thinks the 'Aftermath' of the Lady Antebellum Name Change Was 'a Mess'
Luke Bryan attends the 52nd Annual CMA Awards in Nashville on November 14, 2018. Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Though Bryan said changing the band’s name was “a great option for them to choose,” it later turned into a more “tricky” situation. “Like I said, who knows what they’ll have to figure out,” he added. “But what a mess in the aftermath of removing ‘antebellum.'”

In June, the Grammy-winning band announced that they would be changing their name due to its connection with slavery. “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,” the trio wrote in a statement on social media.

At the time, band members Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood admitted they were “regretful and embarrassed” that they weren’t aware of the historic meaning of the word “antebellum.” While many congratulated the group for making the switch, they were faced with backlash from Anita White, a singer who has been using the name Lady A for “over 20 years.”

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“This is my life,” she told Rolling Stone in June. “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. … And I’m not happy about that. You found me on Spotify easily — why couldn’t they?”

The musicians later met to try and find “common ground,” but weeks later, the “Need You Now” singers filed a lawsuit against White, 62, in hopes that the court would rule that their use of the name Lady A doesn’t go against her “alleged trademark rights.”

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In the midst of the legal drama, White defended herself in a powerful statement to Us, noting that she would “not be quiet anymore.”

“The A in their name stands for Antebellum and always will,” she said in July. “If they are truly committed to racial equality, why do they want to maintain that association, especially when it means making a public, intentional stand to disregard me and my rights?”

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