Both plan to use the name, sources say
Lady A, the trio formerly known as Lady Antebellum, has connected privately with blues singer Lady A, who scoffed at the group’s name change last week during the height of racial inequality in America. Anita White, who has performed as Lady A for more than 20 years, told Rolling Stone last week that she was blindsided by the band shortening its name, and wasn’t consulted.
“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 says. “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.”
The country trio connected via Zoom with the blues singer on Monday (June 15th) after a Big Machine Label Group representative assured representatives would be reaching out to White.
“Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A,” the country trio shared with a screen shot of the call that also included John Oliver III of Gleanings Community Bible Church and Mississippi blues artist Dexter Allen, who have written and performed with the singer. “Transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had. We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope. More to come.”
Billboard reports that both entities plan to use the name, although more details are expected later.
The seven-time GRAMMY Award winning trio’s original name stems from their first photo shoot together at a southern style antebellum home. On June 11th, the country trio of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood decided upon the change — which is what diehard fans have called the trio from the start — to reflect the civil unrest involving the black community.
“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 share.
They continue, “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. 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. 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.
“We understand that many of you may ask the question ‘Why have you not made this change until now?’ The answer is that we can make no excuse for our lateness to this realization. What we can do is acknowledge it, turn from it and take action. We feel like we have been awakened, but this is just one step. There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better. We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism. 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. 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.”
Many fans aren’t onboard with the change, calling it a PR move. Many have called out the trio for the change, even suggesting The Dixie Chicks, Alabama and Florida Georgia Line consider changing their names due to southern iconology and the “appeasement” of the public.