Luke Bryan is weighing in on Lady Antebellum changing their band name to Lady A.
During an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” Tuesday, the country superstar admits the aftermath of the group’s name change is a “mess.”
“I don’t think they were anticipating the aftermath of being called Lady A,” says Bryan. “I can say that, for years, everyone in the community, in the country music community, has really referred to them as Lady A.”
Back in June, the superstar trio – composed of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and David Haywood – announced they would be dropping “Antebellum” from their band name due to the word’s ties to slavery.
“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 every day. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed,” wrote the trio on their Instagram.
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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.
They added: “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.”
Just one day after announcing their name change, Black blues singer Anita White – who has been calling herself Lady A for more than 20 years – accused the band of not doing their research before using the name.
“They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time,” White told Rolling Stone. “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.”
With all the controversy, Bryan says it was a great “option for them to choose” but now “it’s tricky.”
He adds: “God, what a mess in the aftermath of removing ‘antebellum.'”