The whole 'Lady Antebellum changing their name' saga has just taken a turn for the ugly.
As you may know, the country band announced last month that they were changing their name to Lady A due to connotations of slavery associated with the word 'antebellum'. The only problem was that a blues singer by the name of Anita White had been using that same name for over two decades.
The two parties seemed to come to an understanding after a Zoom call last month, but now it's been revealed that the band are suing the singer over usage of the name - claiming that she had asked them for $10 million.
‘Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended," they said in a statement. "She and her team have demanded a $10 million (£7.8 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.’"
They added that they had never expected White to stop using the name, nor will their lawsuit mean that she will have to do so, either. "We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to work together with Anita for that greater purpose," they said. "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."
White, meanwhile, responded on her Instagram stories by saying "You finally realise that your name is racially problematic so you shorten it, but then sue the black woman that has been using that name for almost 2 decades [sic]. That’s some white privilege."
She later expanded upon the issue in an interview with Vulture, saying that she had suggested that they go by 'Lady A the Band' and she go by 'Lady A the Artist', but they did not agree to that. She also said that she planned to keep $5 million of the proposed settlement, and donate the other $5 million to various charities.
"I was quiet for two weeks because I was trying to believe that it was going to be okay and that they would realize that it would be easier to just change their name, or pay me for my name. But here we go again with another white person trying to take something from a Black person, even though they say they’re trying to help.”
She added: “You don’t get to just come and take because you have that privilege. We don’t have that luxury or that privilege, so we need somebody to help us and lift us up.”