Not everyone is dancing about Lady Antebellum’s sudden name change to Lady A.
The Nashville-based band announced their new name yesterday in a bid to distance themselves from the slavery-era history of their original name. But there’s another artist using the moniker already.
Seattle resident Anita White, 61, goes by the stage name Lady A, and she’s been doing so for almost two decades while releasing blues albums. White got her start as a gospel performer at church services and took up the Lady A name in the ’80s. Lady A plans to release her next full-length album, “Lady A: Live in New Orleans,” on July 18, which also happens to be her birthday.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, White suggested there is hypocrisy in a band formerly known as Lady Antebellum changing their name to avoid a slavery-era reference while simultaneously making their new name one already belonging to a black artist.
“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 Friday. “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.”
White added that her music has long been on Spotify and YouTube and expressed concern that the band or its management didn’t do a thorough look for anyone else using the name before co-opting it. “It’s an opportunity for them to pretend they’re not racist or pretend this means something to them. If it did, they would’ve done some research. And I’m not happy about that.”
White told Rolling Stone she owns the trademark for Lady A LLC and plans to meet with an attorney to determine if she will sue and, if so, what damages to request.
Lady Antebellum was formed in 2006. The band’s management did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.