- Lady Antebellum will now be known as Lady A, the band announced on Thursday.
- The band is dropping the word “Antebellum” as a show of solidarity with the Black community, as it carries associations with the pre-Civil War South and slavery.
- “We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued,” Lady A wrote in a statement.
- “Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.”
- The country-rock trio consists of three white musicians: Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood.
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Lady Antebellum will now be known as Lady A, the band announced on Thursday.
The band said it made the decision to drop “Antebellum” from its name after reckoning with the word’s racist connotations.
“As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive of all,” the band wrote in a statement, addressed to fans.
“We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.”
Dear fans… pic.twitter.com/7JlcH2NMl6
— Lady A (@ladya) June 11, 2020
Lady Antebellum was formed in 2006 by three white musicians: Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood.
The country-rock trio says the name was originally inspired by “the southern ‘antebellum’-style home where we took our first photos.”
“As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the south that influenced us…Southern rock, blues, R&B, gospel and of course country,” the statement reads. “But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the Civil War, which includes slavery.”
“We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.”
Indeed, the “Antebellum era” is an oft-used historical term that refers to the pre-Civil War South, which had a robust economy thanks to the widespread use of slavery. Antebellum-style homes typically refer to Southern plantations, where Black people were held captive and forced to work for generations.
The band name “Lady Antebellum” has long been seen as problematic, but the band members themselves have typically avoided addressing any such criticism directly. When asked about its “controversial” origins in a 2017 interview, lead singer Scott said they “liked how it sounded.”
“I have to give Charles credit for the band name,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “I remember thinking, ‘If we get a record deal, that will be the first thing to go,’ but somehow it stuck. Looking back, it was like, how did that become our name?”
“It sounded country, and it had this layer of nostalgia. But once [fans started] calling us ‘Lady A,’ I was like, “Let’s just keep it that way.”
In the new statement, the trio said it “can make no excuse for our lateness to this realisation.”
“We feel like we have been awakened, but this is just one step. There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better,” the band wrote. “We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism.”
Lady A’s decision comes in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and widespread protesting, which have inspired similar moves to scrub racist symbolism and offensive language.
The Grammys announced on Wednesday that it has renamed the “best urban contemporary album” category, because “urban” has been criticised as an antiquated code word for Black music. Later that same day, NASCAR announced that it will ban the presence of the confederate flag at all of its races.
- Read more:
- The music industry is finally getting rid of the term ‘urban’ to categorise Black music – but it’s not enough
- NASCAR bans the Confederate flag from all races in their latest move to support racial equality and social justice
- US Soccer apologised to its Black players for not using its platform ‘as effectively as we should have’ before lifting its ban on kneeling during the national anthem
- Christopher Columbus statues are being beheaded and torn down during Black Lives Matter protests
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