Last month, in the wake of the George Floyd murder and subsequent protests, Lady Antebellum announced that they would be dropping the “Antebellum” portion of their band name and going by Lady A. The Antebellum Era was the period of time in the South when slavery was rampant prior to the Civil War.
Great move, so what’s the problem?
Well, there just so happens to be a blues singer (a black woman) that goes by the name Lady A… and has for the past 20 YEARS.
The band recently did a Zoom call with Anita White (Lady A), and everything seemed to be good, however it appears as though there is still a dispute about the name.
The band released the following statement regarding the lawsuit:
“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended. 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. It was a stirring in our hearts and reflection on our own blindspots that led us to announce a few weeks ago that we were dropping the word “Antebellum” from our name and moving forward using only the name so many of our fans already knew us by.”
It sounds like Lady A (the band) already had a trademark for the name since back in 2010, and Lady A (the singer) never challenged it. However now, it appears as though they parties tried to work out a deal which ultimately failed. White allegedly asked for $10 million dollars to allow Lady A (the band) to continue using that name. Lady A said no and filed suit.
But here’s the kicker… in an effort to be more racially sensitive to the black community, Lady Antebellum removed part of their name and in turn, stepped right on the feet of black blues singer from Seattle. And at first, it seemed liked they were about to proceed amicably, both sharing the name, but not anymore.
Any way you slice it, it kinda sounds like this…
So Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A in order to be racially “woke” but now they are suing the black singer that’s had that name for twenty years.
Whether intentions were good or not (they undoubtedly were at the beginning), this tweet is what the perception is going to be moving forward. And at the end of the day, this tweet pretty much describes exactly what happened… whether you own the trademark or not.
Not a good look for the band… AT ALL.
However, it should be stated that Lady A (the band) is not suing for any amount of money, just for a declaration of their IP rights.
Stay tuned… I’m sure this won’t be the last of this.