Lady Antebellum Sues Black Singer Anita White
The US country band Lady A has sued the black artist Anita White over the use of the name ‘Lady A’.
That’s right. The group says that it had started using the ‘nickname’ Lady A soon after the formation of the band in 2006.
The band, which was formerly known as Lady Antebellum, changed its name to Lady A recently. The group had changed its name a month ago in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
But the new name that it adopted, Lady A, also turns out to be the stage name of singer Anita White for two decades now.
And this is where the problem started. The band claims that Anita White’s representatives asked for a $10 million payment from them.
To understand this situation, let’s start from the beginning, which would be about a month ago When Lady Antebellum became Lady A
About a month ago, the country trio announced in a letter to fans that it was changing its name from Lady Antebellum to ‘Lady A’.
Apparently, they did this in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The band said, “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.”
The name has been controversial ever since its adoption in 2006. In America, the term Antebellum refers to the pre-Civil War era, which is infamous for the slavery of black people.
The name Lady Antebellum, therefore, seems to be romanticizing the aesthetics that were the result of black slave labour.
The band filed a lawsuit against White in a Nashville, Tennessee court. The lawsuit claims that White has attempted “to enforce purported trademark rights” for a trademark they had used for years.
The band says that representatives of White had delivered a draft settlement agreement that includes monetary demands of $10 million.
The lawsuit seeks no monetary damages but only asks the court to affirm “a trademark we have held for many years.”
The trio said that the suit is not to force White in changing her stage name but to protect itself from further litigation.
“We can do so much more together than in this dispute,” the group said.
“This is my life.”
As per Anita White, the band did not reach out to her before announcing that they were changing the name.
Anita White, the 61-year-old black female singer from Seattle, has used the stage name ‘Lady A’ for decades.
In an interview, White said, “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.”
“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,” the singer said.