In June country music trio Lady Antebellum announced that they would be changing their name in a bid to distance themselves from the racist connotations of their original moniker. However, the new name they chose for themselves, Lady A, was already in use by Seattle-based Black blues singer Anita White. She has performed as Lady A for over two decades and originally oposed the group's plans before claiming that they were “moving forward with positive solutions and common ground.”
The moment of togetherness was short-lived, however. On Wednesday, July 8, the band Lady A filed a lawsuit against the singer they now share a name with. They are asking a Nashville court to allow them the right to the trademark of the name. The lawsuit states that Lady A the singer can remain using the same name but that they wish to secure the trademark after White demanded $10 million from the band.
“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the group said in a statement. “She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.”
The band, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, state in the lawsuit that they faced no opposition, including from White, when they registered “Lady A” as a trademark in 2010.
“We are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the group added in their statement. “We can do so much more together than in this dispute.”
When the band first announced their new name White told Newsday she felt “the group’s camp is trying to erase me”. In a separate interview with Rolling Stone she added: “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 has not commented directly about the lawsuit. The FADER has reached out for comment.