A Seattle blues musician who has been performing for decades under the name “Lady A” is not at all pleased that the country act formerly known as Lady Antebellum has begun using the same name, Rolling Stone reported.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the phenomenally popular Nashville act had, since 2006, used their name in honor of the antebellum plantation in which their first photos as a band were taken. However, in a Twitter post this week, they announced that the national discussion about race that has been taking place since the George Floyd protests called to their attention a blind spot that they hadn’t noticed: their name.
Specifically, the word “antebellum” comes from two Latin words that mean “before the war.” As the phrase is used in American English, it refers to the period before the Civil War. By extension, the word refers to the era during which slavery was legal.
“We are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word,” the group said.
The band then announced that, moving forward, they would simply be known as “Lady A,” using a bit of shorthand that they said a fan had bestowed upon them.
However, there’s a problem: a blues artist in Seattle has been performing under the name Lady A for decades. And she’s not happy.
Anita White, 61, says that the Nashville group took advantage of Black Lives Matter to draw attention to themselves.
“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. It’s an opportunity for them to pretend they’re not racist or pretend this means something to them,” she said.
She also noted that, had the band taken the time to search for the name they wanted to use on Spotify, they’d have found her right away.
A representative for the Nashville Lady A says that the group was not aware of her and plans to “reach out” to her.
Whether or not Seattle Lady A can force Nashville Lady A to change their name — again — is unclear. Bob Celestin, a longtime music attorney, says that Seattle Lady A would have better legal standing if she’d registered her name as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. He also noted that the two could come to an agreement that allows both entities to use the same name.
Seattle Lady A has promised to not stop using her own name.