The George Floyd protests have shined a light on racism, not just in policing, but in other areas of life as well, such as in sports and entertainment. Some organizations have taken steps to right those wrongs; for example, NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from its races, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, and the military is looking at renaming military assets named for Confederate fighters.
Now, the members of Lady Antebellum have announced that they are changing the name of their act, which it has had since it was formed by Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood in Nashville back in 2006.
Due to Twitter’s 280-character limit, the band was unable to express itself textually, and instead posted four successive images of their message.
“Dear Fans: As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge… inclusive of all,” the message begins.
The statement then goes on to say that, as a band, their “hearts have been stirred with conviction” and that their eyes have been opened to blind spots they didn’t even know existed.
One such blind spot is their name.
Specifically, the word “antebellum,” which combines two Latin words that mean “before the war.” As the term is used in American English, that means “before the Civil War.” Indeed, antebellum mansions are across the South, now used as tourist attractions or historical places of interest.
The band notes in its statement that its original name was chosen because of the antebellum plantation home in which they took their first photos as a band.
“It reminded us all of the music born in the South that influenced us,” they wrote, saying that they were influenced by blues, R&B, gospel, and Southern rock, among other genres.
“We are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word,” the group continued.
Moving forward, the group will be known simply as “Lady A,” a nickname bestowed upon them by a fan.
The band’s announcement is getting mixed reaction on Twitter.
Some users are praising the band’s decision.
You're currently receiving a one-man standing ovation from me! You absolutely don't lose anything from the name change. Every time I hear Lady A, I'll think of you taking a stand for something that's right. For a country act, this is pure punk rock!
— Jim Shearer (@JimShearer) June 11, 2020
Others, however, were aghast.
This is getting more and more ridiculous by the hour.
— Andrew Brown (@AndrewB66636244) June 11, 2020
This is not the first time that a country music act’s name, associated with uncomfortably racial issues, has come up. In 2019, as USA Today reported, Illinois canceled a scheduled appearance of ’90s country stars Confederate Railroad for a state fair planned in the town of Du Qoin.