Blues singer Lady A sues the band fka Lady Antebellum
White's suit says that she has “nationwide common law rights in the trademark LADY A in connection with music and entertainment services in the nature of musical performances" which predates "any rights in the LADY A mark allegedly owned by Lady Antebellum.”
The battle for the name has been going on since Lady Antebellum changed their name in June due to associations "Antebellum" has with the Confederacy and slavery. When Seattle's Lady A spoke up, noting she'd been using the name for 20 years, the parties initially looked like they were going to work it out amicably, with both still using the name. But when White asked for $10 million to allow the band to use the Lady A name, they sued her, saying they had filed copyright on "Lady A" in 2010 and had legal rights to it. The band's lawsuit did not ask for monetary damages, just that White acknowledge they had rights to the name
White, who said she only asked for $10 million when the band's initial offers "had no substance" and that she planned on giving half to Black Lives Matter charities, says in the lawsuit that since the band changed their name to Lady A, she has suffered “lost sales, diminished brand identity, and diminution in the value of and goodwill associated with the mark.”
“The effect of the name change on Ms. White’s ability to distinguish her music in the marketplace was overwhelming,” reads the suit. “Internet and social media searches for ‘Lady A,’ which had readily returned results for her music, were now dominated by references to Lady Antebellum. Ms. White’s LADY A brand had been usurped and set on the path to erasure.”
White's lawsuit is asking for unspecified compensatory damages, a "royalty fee for any sales of music or musical performances rendered under the LADY A mark," as well as a fee for infringing on the Lady A name.
The country act did not return Rolling Stone's request for comment.