Blues Singer Lady A Condemns Lady Antebellum's Name Change
By Desiree Murphy
Blues singer Lady A (real name: Anita White) is not happy that she now has to share her stage name.
Country trio Lady Antebellum announced on Thursday that in light of the Black Lives Matter movement, they were dropping "Antebellum," a word widely used to refer to the period of time before the Civil War. They revealed they will now go by Lady A, a name the 61-year-old black singer has been using for over 20 years.
White told Rolling Stone that the group -- composed of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood -- did not reach out to her beforehand; she found out through multiple messages sent to her from friends via text and e-mail.
"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 explained. "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," she continued. "It's an opportunity for them to pretend they're not racist or pretend this means something to them. 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?"
ET has reached out to the musical group for comment.
As ET previously reported, Scott, Kelley and Haywood all shared the band's lengthy statement to their social media accounts, which began, "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."
The group said they are "regretful and embarrassed" by the fact that they did not take this into account sooner.
"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," the statement continued. "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."
The group concluded the post by stating they 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."