On Thursday, Grammy Award-winning country group Lady Antebellum shocked their fans with a surprise announcement. The group released a statement, owning up to the fact their stage name evoked ideas of pre-Civil War American era. Along with dozens of brands attempting to show solidarity, the group decided to change its name to Lady A.
“After much personal reflection,” the statement reads, “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.”
However, there was just one problem: there’s already a Lady A. She’s a 61-year-old Black blues singer from Seattle. For over 20 years, she’s released albums while working in the Seattle area. According to her, neither the band nor their management contacted her. On Friday, she spoke with Rolling Stone about the confusion.Thursday
“This is my life,” she said. “Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done. They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time.”
Lady A, whose real name is Anita White, says the group is offering too little, too late.
“If it mattered,” she said, “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.”
Lady A plans to release a new album, Lady A: Live in New Orleans, on her birthday, July 18th.
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