Already in use. Blues singer Lady A (real name Anita White) spoke out against Lady Antebellum after the country group changed their name amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
“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, 61, told Rolling Stone in an interview published on Friday, June 12. “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?”
White went on to express her intentions moving forward. “I don’t know if [the new Lady A] are going to give me a cease-and-desist. I don’t know how they’d react. But I’m not about to stop using my name,” she said, noting that she plans to review her options with a lawyer. “For them to not even reach out is pure privilege. I’m not going to lay down and let this happen to me. But now the burden of proof is on me to prove that my name is in fact mine, and I don’t even know how much I’ll have to spend to keep it.”
A rep for Lady Antebellum — made up of Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood — told Rolling Stone on Friday that the band were unaware of Lady A and plan to reach out to her.
The Grammy winners announced on Thursday, June 11, that they were changing their name. “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 shared in a statement via Instagram.
Kelley, 38, Scott, 34, and Haywood, 37, said they were “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” and “deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued.” The group concluded that “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.”
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