On Thursday, hugely successful country/pop trio Lady Antebellum announced that it will be changing its name to Lady A due to the racial connotations of the word ‘Antebellum’ — but there’s a problem with that.
Anita White, 61, is a seasoned Seattle-based blues singer who has used the name Lady A for 20 years, releasing multiple albums under that name. Understandably, she has taken extreme offense at the country band lifting her name.
White spoke with Rolling Stone about her reaction to the country band’s news:
“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,” she says, her voice breaking. “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 adds. “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 has posted a series of messages on her Facebook page about this since it was brought to her attention on Thursday:
Thank you to each and everyone who has texted, sent emails, PM'd me to let me know about Lady Antebellum now…
The decision was made by Lady Antebellum to change its name after some deep reflection regarding the ties of the word ‘Antebellum’ to the Civil War era — and, most significantly, slavery, and came about amidst the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement and civil unrest in the United States stemming from the May 25 killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department.
Since making the announcement, the band’s social media handles and representation on digital streaming platforms have been altered to reflect the change … though this only amplifies the issue with the real Lady A, who very clearly has no intention of changing her name.
This story will almost assuredly have more twists and turns, so stay tuned.