Moving forward, Lady Antebellum will now be known as “Lady A.” The group wants to renounce the term attributed to times before the American Civil War.
Lady Antebellum’s name change to Lady A isn’t sitting well with another artist who says she’s been using that moniker for two decades.
Seattle-based blues singer Lady A, who is Black, blasted the country group in an Instagram post, saying: “How can you say Black Lives Matter and put your knee on the neck of another Black artist? I’m not mad..I am however not giving up my name, my brand I worked hard for. #GodWillFightMyBattle #TheRealLadyA #LadyABluesSoulFunkGospelArtist #TheTruthIsLoud”
She told Rolling Stone that no one from the group — featuring members Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood — reached out to her prior to revealing the name change.
“This is my life,” she told the magazine. “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.”
It’s unclear whether the blues singer has tried to trademark the “Lady A” name. A search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office records shows the term was registered for in 2011 by Lady A Entertainment, a limited liability company in Tennessee. Lady A Entertainment is also listed as the owner of a series of Lady Antebellum trademarks relating to music and multimedia materials.
USA TODAY reached out to representatives for Lady A, the blues singer, and Lady A, formerly Lady Antebellum, for a response.
The country group behind hits “Need You Now” and “Bartender” announced the name change Thursday, saying it was renouncing “antebellum,” a term used primarily to describe existing before the American Civil War.
In a statement posted to social media, the band said that when Lady A formed 14 years ago, the group didn’t consider the pre-Civil War “associations that weigh down this word,” including ties to slavery.
The move comes in the wake of a renewed Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a white Minneapolis police officer.
“We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued,” the band’s statement said. “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.”
There’s “no excuse” for the making this decision after nearly a decade-and-a-half career, the post continued. The band acknowledged its “lateness” to change, writing that “this is just one step” in addressing systemic racism.
Contributing: Matthew Leimkuehler, Nashville Tennessean and Jennifer McClellan, USA TODAY
Follow Gary Dinges on Twitter @gdinges
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