Lady Antebellum’s new name, Lady A, is already the name of a Seattle blues singer
Country pop band Lady Antebellum announced yesterday that they've changed their name to Lady A, saying, "we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down [the word Antebellum] referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery." In the wake of their name change, however, Rolling Stone reports that another artist already goes by Lady A. 61-year-old Seattle blues singer Anita White has been performing under that name for over 20 years, and has multiple albums out; her next one, Lady A: Live in New Orleans, is due out on July 18.
White tells Rolling Stone she's frustrated that no one from Lady Antebellum, or their team, contacted her. "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. 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," she continued. "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?"
White told Rolling Stone that she holds a business trademark for "Lady A LLC" and plans to speak to a lawyer about her options going forward. "I don’t know if [the new Lady A] are going to give me a cease-and-desist," she said. "I don’t know how they’d react. But I’m not about to stop using my name. For them to not even reach out is pure privilege. I’m not going to lay down and let this happen to me. But now the burden of proof is on me to prove that my name is in fact mine, and I don’t even know how much I’ll have to spend to keep it."
Rolling Stone contacted a representative for Lady Antebellum, who said they didn't know about this Lady A, and would get in touch with her.