Since Lady Antebellum are now Lady A, it means the blues singer was left out in the cold.
Anita White, 61, a Black blues singer who has gone by Lady A for over 20 years, chatted with Rolling Stone about the recent name change, saying she is “not happy” about it when news first broke.
“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 told the magazine. “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.”
In light of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Lady Antebellum announced they were changing their name to Lady A after being long criticized for its associations with the pre-war, slavery-ridden American South.
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Dear Fans, 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. 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. When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the southern “antebellum” style home where we took our first photos. 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 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 & generations to come.
“It’s an opportunity for them to pretend they’re not racist or pretend this means something to them,” she added. “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?”
The group has since reached out to the blues singer and everyone came to an agreement.
“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,” they wrote on Instagram.
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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. #LadyABluesSoulFunkGospelArtist #TheTruthIsLoud @ladya_bluesdiva @dexter_allen_entertainment @oliveriiijohn
Sources have told Billboard that both artists will continue to use Lady A.