In The Know

Singer says band suing over Lady A name using 'white privilege' against her

Singer Anita White, who has spent decades performing blues music under the name Lady A, said the group formerly known as Lady Antebellum is using "white privilege" against her in a recent lawsuit.

"They claim to be allies and that they wanted to change their name out of the racist connotation," White said of the band, adding, "then they sue a Black woman for the new name," according to Rolling Stone.

Last month, the Nashville-based country music group abbreviated their name to "Lady A" in an attempt to distance the name's association with the Antebellum South.

White has been talking with the group for weeks about maintaining the use of the name, arguing that she should not have to fight for a new she has used for more than 20 years. 

"Lady Antebellum to Lady A didn't change the connotation or yield to them being inclusive. They are yet again using their privilege to take because I don't want to share in the name. They brought this to the forefront. I didn't," White told Rolling Stone.

According to the suit, the band from Nashville argues the group had used "Lady A" interchangeably with the band's former name as early as 2006, arguing that the abbreviated name has been a longtime trademark of the group.

White said that despite the country group assuring her that her artistry would not become buried as a result of the name change, she said her recent single "The Truth Is Loud" has been difficult for fans to discover on music streaming services.

"The shifting of their name follows the trend of many other groups and organizations working to distance themselves from racist undertones in the wake of the uprisings in this post-George Floyd world," White said. "Not wanting a name that is a reminder to many Black folks of how so much was taken from us: our freedom, languages, families, and even our names makes sense."

"However, to do so by taking the name on which I, a Black woman, have built my career in the music industry for over 20 years is ironic," she added.

The band's decision to sue White came after she demanded $10 million in payment in exchange for the name. White justified the request as money she needed to rebrand herself, as well as money she said she would use to help her church and other artists. She also said she would donate $5 million to Black Lives Matter, charity and musicians in need of legal counsel.