Music Features

Lady A's White Privilege Is Showing

The country band, FKA Lady Antebellum, are suing a Black blues singer over the rights to their new name.

Lady Antebellum - Need You Now

Last month, the country band formerly known Lady Antebellum showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement by changing their name to Lady A—a name that had already been used by Black blues singer, Anita White.

Now, Lady A (the band) are digging themselves an even deeper grave by suing Lady A (the singer). But, hey! At least their original band name isn't racist anymore.

"Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended," Lady A (the band) said in a statement to CBS News. "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."

According to the lawsuit, Lady A (the band) had been using that nickname in tandem with their original name, Lady Antebellum, since as early as 2006, and it became an official trademark for the band in 2011. The lawsuit also reads that "prior to 2020, White did not challenge, in any way, Plaintiffs' open, obvious, and widespread nationwide and international use of the Lady A mark as a source indicator."

The suit says Lady A (the singer) has identified as that name since 2010, although she told Rolling Stone she's been using the stage name for 20 years, adding: "It's an opportunity for them to pretend they're not racist or pretend this means something to them. If it did, they would've done some research. And I'm not happy about that. You found me on Spotify easily—why couldn't they?"

Although Lady A (the band) and Lady A (the singer) have seemingly been in a constructive discussion over their shared name, the singer's ultimate opinion is that this is an issue of "white privilege."

Under a trademark coexistence agreement, it is possible for two artists to share a trademark so long as the artists in question don't interfere with each others' enterprises; for example, two singer-songwriters can both be known as Alex G because they access different markets. The Lady A debacle could possibly fall under this agreement, if both the band and the singer comply.

But, as Lady A (the singer) pointed out, Lady A (the band)'s decision to sue their namesake is indicative of their white privilege. From the start, the band's choice to change their name was met with a debate over whether or not it was actually constructive in achieving racial justice.

The world "antebellum" literally means "before the war," but it has since come to be most often associated with the Civil War; for example, the Antebellum South describes the period from the late 18th century to the end of the Civil War, when the southern United States depended on and profited off of slavery.

Due to the racist undertones of the word "antebellum" and the recent spark in Black Lives Matter activism, Lady A (the band) shortened their name—although we all still know what the word stands for. Though the band claimed the word "antebellum" was referencing the style of architecture of the home where they took their first band photos, to use the word at all was a gross move. To then adopt a Black artists' name as your own without doing your research and sue that artist is incredibly backwards logic.

Though it's understandable why Lady A (the band) would feel such a strong attachment to the name, perhaps they'd be better off changing their name entirely. Considering the fact that their only other statement regarding the Black Lives Matter movement was a photo of a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote (and no mention of Black Lives Matter at all), it seems clear that Lady A (the band) aren't set on achieving racial justice or effecting any real change—this legal battle is just an attempt at self-preservation.

Culture News

Lady Antebellum Is Now Lady A—Which Is Also the Name of a Black Blues Singer

Lady Antebellum should just take the L and change their name to something different from Lady A, which is already taken.

George Floyd

Photo by Jean Beller Unsplash

Country band Lady Antebellum has announced that they are changing their name from Lady Antebellum to Lady A.

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Abby Anderson is Country's Next Kacey Musgraves

The 22-year-old Country Pop singer's new single is as giddy as it is catchy

Abby Anderson is aiming to dominate the country-pop airwaves with her new single, "Good Lord."

2019 is slated to be a big year for the up-and-coming country starlet. The Texas-bred singer made her international debut at the Country 2 Country festival earlier this month in London, where she shared a stage with the likes of Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Hunter Hayes, and Lady Antebellum. But that's not all. In the coming months, she will also be opening for Rob Thomas in more than 44 cities on his Chip Tooth Smile Tour and is also set to perform at some big-name festivals, including Stagecoach, Tortuga, and Country Thunder Arizona. In addition to a very hectic touring schedule, Anderson's new single, "Good Lord," is bound to garner attention from country pop fans all over the world.

The song comes on strong, with a rock-driven guitar lick soaring over a plucked banjo and a dance-worthy drum loop. For the verse, the distorted guitar disappears, allowing plenty of room for Anderson's soulful voice to sprawl out as she lists off all the reasons she loves her man: "It's the way you kiss me like nobody's watchin'/ It's the way you lean in every time I'm talkin'."

This sweet and giddy verse gradually builds into a large and anthemic chorus that will have no trouble filling up the many theaters and arenas Anderson will be performing in this year. "I bet the good lord took his sweet time," Anderson belts, "on your dark hair and your brown eyes."

This ecstatic and sunny love song is perfect for singing along to, whether you catch Anderson on tour this Summer, or while driving with the windows down on a beautiful spring day.


Dustin DiPaulo is a writer and musician from Rochester, New York. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University and can most likely be found at a local concert, dive bar, or comedy club (if he's not getting lost somewhere in the woods).

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