Blues Singer Lady A: I Won’t Let Lady Antebellum ‘Erase’ Me by Suing to Take My Name

Courtesy of Lady A/Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM
Courtesy of Lady A/Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM

“I am not going to be erased,” said blues singer Lady A in reaction to the country group Lady Antebellum — which now wants to be called Lady A — filing a lawsuit in order to take her name.

Now that the woke country band Lady Antebellum has changed their name to “Lady A,” they are encroaching on a black blues singer who has already been using the name since 1987. The group — which changed their name to drop the word “Antebellum” over its ties to slavery — has now ironically filed a lawsuit to take the name away from a black singer.

“I think they always knew what they were gonna do,” said blues singer Lady A — whose real name is Anita White — to Vulture after it was announced that the band would be taking her to court. The report noted that in 2010, Lady Antebellum had filed to secure a trademark for “Lady A.”

Earlier this month, the band filed a lawsuit against White after “com[ing] 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.”

“You don’t get to just come and take because you have that privilege,” said White. “We don’t have that luxury or that privilege, so we need somebody to help us and lift us up.”

The country group, however, maintains that it reached out to White last month and had productive conversations about both continuing to use the name — until White’s new counsel allegedly “delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand,” according to a report by ET. The report added that the group says White demanded $10 million.

“Prior to 2020, White did not challenge, in any way, Plaintiffs’ open, obvious, and widespread nationwide and international use of the LADY A mark as a source indicator for Plaintiffs’ recorded, downloadable, and streaming music and videos, Plaintiffs’ live musical performances, or Plaintiffs’ sale of souvenir merchandise,” claims the lawsuit.

In her interview with Vulture, White said that she had planned to use the $10 million to restart her brand, as well as to help the Black community. The singer’s plan was to use $5 million to rebrand herself and basically start over as an artist, while the other $5 million would be donated to charities of her choice.

“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,” said White. “Five million dollars is nothing, and I’m actually worth more than that, regardless of what they think.”

“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,” continued White. “If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing.”

“And that might require you to give up something because I am not going to be erased,” she added.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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