Last month, Lady Antebellum changed its name to Lady A due to implications of racism and oppression associated with the term; however, a blues singer named Anita White had already been using the moniker for decades. The band revealed on social media that it had reached "common ground" with the other Lady A after "transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had." But something must have happened in the weeks that followed, because on Wednesday (July 8), the country stars announced they were suing White.
The band filed the lawsuit to Nashville’s U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, disputing White’s “attempt to enforce purported trademarks rights in a mark that Plaintiffs have held for more than a decade.” According to the trio, White demanded a hefty chunk of money even though the group has used Lady A as a nickname for years. See the band's full statement below:
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. When we learned that Ms. White had also been performing under the name Lady A, we had heartfelt discussions with her about how we can all come together and make something special and beautiful out of this moment. We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will – today’s action doesn’t change that. Instead, we shared our stories, listened to each other, prayed and spent hours on the phone and text writing a song about this experience together. We felt we had been brought together for a reason and saw this as living out the calling that brought us to make this change in the first place. We're disappointed that we won’t be able to work together with Anita for that greater purpose. We’re still committed to educating ourselves, our children and doing our part to fight for the racial justice so desperately needed in our country and around the world. We’ve only taken the first small steps and will prioritize racial equality as a key pillar of the work of LadyAID, specifically leaning into supporting and empowering our youth. We hope Anita and the advisers she is now listening to will change their minds about their approach. We can do so much more together than in this dispute.
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