Lady Antebellum Implies God Wants Them to Take Elderly Black Woman’s Stage Name

The recent protests against the police abuses directed at the African-American community have started a wave of people renaming things, taking down statues and pulling down episodes of TV shows instead of addressing the material concerns of the protestors. One of those changes was country band Lady Antebellum changing their name to Lady A, something that less directly glorifies the time when Black people were property.

The problem is that there’s already a performer who goes by the name Lady A, blues singer Anita White. She’s much less successful than Lady A(ntebellum) and she says their new name has crowded her off of streaming services like Spotify in a statement to Variety.

Due to Lady Antebellum’s massive rebranding efforts, Lady Antebellum has erased me from every platform. Lady Antebellum has used their wealth and influence to intimidate and bully me into submission without offering any real recompense for appropriating my name. It is now clear that their apologies, friendly texts, and playing on my love of God were just insincere gestures aimed at quieting me. Well, I will not be quiet any longer.

Nothing says “We’re not racist” like strong-arming a lesser-known Black performer because your band name Lady Back When Slavery Was Legal is getting some negative attention now.

Now Lady A(ntebellum)’s justification for this is that they filed for a trademark for “Lady A” years ago and secured it, so they’re legally entitled to use it. Anita White has used the moniker Lady A since the 80s but never secured the trademark. The country band has requested that both they and White continue to use the name Lady A with no financial remuneration, but White has already said that she’s being bigfooted out under that arrangement.

Their refusal to come to an agreement that would be respectful of my work and my rights, however, has given me the clarity and the drive to not back down. Black lives, names, experiences, work, art — they all matter. Fellow independent artists have reached out to me to share their stories of name feuds that they lost because they were on the opposite side of big money and privilege. Not only will I not be one of them, but I am hopeful that this fight for what is rightfully mine will help those damaged by this type of bullying and erasure in the past, and that it will prevent it from happening in the future. I will not allow Lady Antebellum to obliterate me and my career so they can look ‘woke’ to their fans.

Since when are country music fans concerned with looking woke? Remember when The (Dixie) Chicks were cancelled for calling George W Bush an asshole? They’re just now coming back from that. Meanwhile, Lady Wasn’t It Great When Black People Were Property has done just fine for themselves.

I don’t know if this will hurt Lady A(ntebellum) or not in the long run. It certainly doesn’t look good to me, but I don’t like country music and I’ve barely heard of them before this, only in passing and I only remember because I thought “why would you name your band that?” when I heard it. I imagine that fans of a band called Lady Antebellum don’t much care if they walk all over a smaller, African-American artist.

Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Perhaps she should use lower case “lady a” as she never bothered to trademark the name and she is definitely inferior to the country group in recognition. You snooze, you lose.