I dream of a day where white people and their power and wealth don’t earn them the rights to claim things that never belonged to them. In the case of country band Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, the legal dispute over their new name between the band and a blues singer, has now come to an end in their favor. The original Lady A, who has been using the name since the early nineties has agreed to share it with the country colonizers.
Disputes began in June of 2020, when the music group decided it would no longer use the second part of the band’s name, “Antebellum” in the wake of George Flloyd’s killing. That’s right, it took the murder of an unarmed Black man to get the trio to acknowledge and attempt to reckon with the associations their name held with pre Civil War slavery.
“After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word ‘antebellum’ from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start,” read the band’s formal announcement via their social media.
What was apparently unknown to the group at the time however, was that Lady A, who’s real name is Anita White, had been performing under the moniker for decades.
“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.”
Instead of paying White for the use of the name, the band offered to “help her with her career” and pay off her legal fees. White’s refusal led them to sue her claiming that they had used the name since 2006, while the blues and gospel singer never filed a trademark.
This past Monday, a joint motion was filed in a Tennessee court to dismiss both lawsuits. In court filing obtained by Fox News, the following statement was made:
“The band dismiss[es] all claims in this action against White with prejudice. White dismisses with prejudice all counterclaims against the Band in this action. Each party shall bear its own costs, expenses, and attorney’s fees.”
Meanwhile, the real Lady A has decided to turn salt into sugar, releasing a new song called, “My Name is All I Got”. You can give it a listen here.