‘Lady A’ Name Change Legal Battle Between Country Trio, Anita White Comes to an End
The country trio formerly known as Lady Antebellum have officially settled their legal disputes with Seattle-based soul singer Anita White.
The battle between the two acts dates back to mid-2020, when the band announced their decision to drop the "Antebellum" from their name, moving forward simply as Lady A — a nickname fans had known them by since the early days of their career. With the name change, the trio said they hoped to distance their brand from the slavery-tied associations of the term "antebellum."
However, White — a Black independent soul singer from Seattle — quickly voiced her objection to the name change, explaining that she had been performing under the name Lady A for over two decades at that point. The disagreement became litigious, with the band suing White and asking a court to affirm their right to use the name, and White counter-suing, accusing the band of trademark infringement.
Now, Billboard reports that both of those lawsuits have been dismissed, with both parties calling for the dismissal of the lawsuits filed on Monday (Jan. 31). The terms of the settlement are not publicly available, so it's unclear who has the right to use the name Lady A, and whether or not any money was involved in the agreement.
In June 2021, White told Rolling Stone that she was eagerly awaiting "my day in court," also explaining that, had the two parties not settled by 2022, a trial would begin.
In her objections to the name change, White explained that both her musical presence on streaming services and her social media presence would be drowned out if she had to share her name with a mainstream, major-label act. She has also suggested that the name change was performative social justice, while the band's actions went against the very cause they purported to stand behind.
"If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you're oppressing," White previously explained, "And that might require you to give up something because I am not going to be erased."
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