Country trio Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A, but not everybody is happy about it. Seattle-based blues Singer Lady A, born Anita White, told Rolling Stone Thursday that the group took her name without telling her first.
“This is my life,” she said to Rolling Stone. “Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done.”
White started performing as Lady A in the 1980s for karaoke nights. She has released multiple albums under her stage name. Her upcoming album, Lady A: Live In New Orleans, will be released July 18.
Besides singing, White is a Seattle Public Utilities employee and an activist. She will hold a panel to discuss the roles white people have in ending racism on June 27. The panel, and a song from the upcoming album, will be called “The Truth Is Loud.” She previously sang about Trayvon Martin.
The country trio, composed of Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley, changed their name Thursday after realizing the racist connotations associated with “antebellum.” The term is associated with the pre-Civil War South and slavery. This came in the wake of heightened conversations about racism and the killing of George Floyd.
They have been going by the name since their formation in 2006.
“We want to do better. We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism,” the group wrote on Instagram. “We will continue to educate ourselves, have hard conversations and search the parts of our hearts that need pruning—to grow into better humans, better neighbors.”
White claims it is ironic that the group, composed of three white people, stole from a black woman singer without her knowledge and shared anti-racist messages.
“For them to not even reach out is pure privilege,” she told Rolling Stone.
A rep for the country trio confirmed they will reach out to White. The blues singer has not decided what legal action, if any, she will take.