Artist “Lady A” blasted the band formerly known as “Lady Antebellum” for changing their band name to “Lady A” without consulting her.
The original “Lady A” wrote on Twitter:
How do you just take someone’s name after making a mistake with the one you have @ladya I’m the one True Lady A and have been for over 20 years. You didn’t do your homework the first time and now you want to take my professional name and brand. Think again Colonizer
How do you just take someone's name after making a mistake with the one you have @ladya I'm the one True Lady A and have been for over 20 years. You didn't do your homework the first time and now you want to take my professional name and brand. Think again Colonizer pic.twitter.com/fkcnqvstqC
— Lady A (@ladiawhite) June 12, 2020
Yahoo reports on Thursday, Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley of the Grammy-winning country trio Lady Antebellum released a statement announcing that, “after much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues,” they were dropping “Antebellum” from their band name due to “associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the Civil War, which includes slavery.” Instead, the group would now be known by its more benign nickname, Lady A.
While this gesture may have been well intentioned, unfortunately, it turns out that the band’s new moniker is also problematic. The stage name “Lady A” already belongs to a 61-year-old black woman who has released several albums over the past two decades. The Seattle blues singer’s most recent release is Doin’ Fine, from 2018, and she has a new record, Lady A: Live in New Orleans, set to come out on July 18.
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@ladyantebellumofficial 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
The original Lady A, whose real name is Anita White, blasted the country group in an Instagram post this Friday, 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”
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, White revealed that Lady Antebellum didn’t contact her before announcing their name change, which took her completely by surprise. She also noted the irony that the band’s virtue-signaling attempt — as they claimed in their statement — to “practice antiracism” had actually resulted in damaging a veteran black recording artist’s career.
“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 Rolling Stone. “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. 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?”
Now, however, a search for “Lady A” on Spotify — and on Apple Music, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Google — overwhelmingly brings up results for the country band first, thus effectively erasing White’s digital identity.