Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, is now suing Seattle-based blues singer, Anita White, who has been performing with the name Lady A for over two decades.
In June, Lady Antebellum announced in the wake of the George Floyd protests they were changing their name “after much personal reflection” because the name is closely related to the institution of slavery.
In their statement, the group said:
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.
We are regretful and embarrassed to say 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.
Peep the statement below:
The day after the group announced their name change, Anita White, was absolutely blown and shared with Rolling Stone:
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.
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 matters, 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.
Watch this interview Lady A did shortly after the name change was announced:
Less than a week later, the group connected with Lady A via a video call and appeared to have amicably settled any issues they may have had over the name.
On their Instagram page, the group wrote:
Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A. 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.
See the original post below:
Following their call, Anita told CBS News that all was forgiven and that she and the group were going to work together.
I applaud them for it, and I’m willing to help any way I can and they are wiling to help any way they can. So we’re gonna work together.
This is where white allies need to start listening to black people, indigenous people, people of color. We need to make sure that you’re listening so that we can change this narrative of racism in this world.
Both parties walked away agreeing both could use the name.
But, the very next day…Anita received a drafted agreement from the group’s attorney and she “was not happy about it.”
Their camp is trying to erase me and I’ll more to say tomorrow. Trust is important and I no longer trust them.
Apparently, the real Lady A demanded $10 million from the group if they want to use the name she’s built her living off of all willy nilly.
In turn, they filed a lawsuit against her.
Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended. She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.
We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will – today’s action doesn’t change that. …We felt we had been brought together for a reason and saw this as living out the calling that brought us to make this change in the first place.
We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to work together with Anita for that greater purpose. We’re still committed to educating ourselves, our children and doing our part to fight for the racial justice so desperately needed in our country and around the world. …We hope Anita and the advisers she is now listening to will change their minds about their approach. We can do so much more together than in this dispute.
It’s true. Lady Antebellum did indeed obtain a trademark for Lady A in 2011 after no one challenged it.
They also noted in their lawsuit that the real Lady A has used that name since 2010 and she has music on Spotify. But, she only has 166 monthly listeners and they have 7 million. (The real Lady A actually has over 3,000 monthly listeners.)
So, basically… Lady A(ntebellum) is telling the courts because they have a bigger audience they are more important and they deserve the name more than Anita White – even after acknowledging she had the name first?!
The privilege of it all. They changed their name after an “awakening” thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement…only to tell a Black soul singer their career matters more than hers.
Feel free to support the real Lady A on Spotify.
The real Lady A’s new album, Lady A Live in New Orleans, drops on her birthday July 18. Click here to pre-order the album.
Also, please make sure you know the business of whatever business you are in to protect yourself from things like this!
Source: CBS News