Dear Gossips, 

The other day in What Else? I linked to a story about the band Lady Antebellum and their name change to Lady A. At the time, I said it was a good explanation, considering that the country music audience is so white and they would be alienating their base. If you scroll through the comments of their Instagram post you get some idea of what the reaction is. 


Turns out my initial assessment of the band’s move was premature – and wrong. Because there’s already  an artist called Lady A and she’s a Black woman which makes the band’s reason for the name change (acknowledging that the word “antebellum” romanticises a time when Black Americans were enslaved) seem kinda hollow. They didn’t do the work, they just arbitrarily took something that belonged to someone else – and not just anything but her actual artistic identity. Which is tantamount to erasure. Already if you search Lady A online, all of it points to the band. 

The real Lady A is based in Seattle. She’s a blues singer. She’s released several albums and has another one planned for release on her birthday, July 18. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lady A says she was blindsided by Lady Antebellum:

“This is my life. Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done,” she says, her voice breaking. “This is too much right now. They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time. If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before. It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it.

“It’s an opportunity for them to pretend they’re not racist or pretend this means something to them,” she adds. “If it did, they would’ve done some research. And I’m not happy about that. You found me on Spotify easily — why couldn’t they?”


It’s worth noting too that Lady A has a day job. She works at Seattle Public Utilities. Which means this woman is busy! She’s gigging, she’s recording, she’s showing up for her paycheque, she has no time on top of all that to be dealing with people stealing her name, no time for the additional mental stress, and whatever legal fees are incurred because she has to fight for her creative existence, OMG. 

Yesterday Lady A and the band “connected privately” and posted identical messages on their Instagram accounts afterwards.

I don’t want to make the same mistake I made the first time and compliment the effort so I’ll just say this: I want to believe that the situation will be resolved in the true Lady A’s favour. Oftentimes in these cases it comes down to an imbalance of resources. The band, clearly, has many more resources. And that makes it a lot easier to impose their will on an artist with fewer advantages. 

Yours in gossip,