The country band Lady Antebellum is changing its name after realizing, the band says, that the word “Antebellum” is too deeply connected to America’s history with slavery.
The Grammy-winning band said going forward it will be called “Lady A,” a shortened nickname fans have been using for years. The trio, lead singer Hillary Scott, and Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood, made their announcement on social media, saying that they wanted to distance themselves from the history of slavery.
“As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge,” the band said in their announcement. “When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after 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 band exclaimed. “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.
Dear fans… pic.twitter.com/7JlcH2NMl6
— Lady A (@ladya) June 11, 2020
Of course, in the U.S., the word “antebellum” — meaning “before war” — usually refers to the years occurring before the Civil War in the American south. But the word also generally defines any period before any war.
Lady A initially picked the name in 2006 to connote the feeling and style of old-time country music.
The band added that they are “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,” they wrote. “So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us,” the Grammy-winners said. “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 every day. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.”
The band also promised to “practice antiracism.”
“We will continue to educate ourselves, have hard conversations and search the parts of our hearts that need pruning — to grow into better humans, better neighbors,” they wrote. “Our next outward step will be a donation to the equal justice initiative through Ladyaid. Our prayer is that if we lead by example…with humility, love, empathy, and action…we can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices, while influencing our children and generations to come.”
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