Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood made headlines this week when their band changed its name from Lady Antebellum to Lady A. The group said, via an Instagram post, that “After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word ‘antebellum’ from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start.” As they pointed out in their message, “Antebellum” has connotations of pre-Civil War America, including slavery.
Unfortunately, there is a blues singer who has been going by the name Lady A for two decades. Rolling Stone reports that Anita White, a 61-year-old black woman has been playing the blues under the name for more than 20 years, and has released multiple albums under that name. She’s gearing up to release another album, Lady A: Live in New Orleans, on her birthday on July 18.
Ms. White tells Rolling Stone in an interview, “I’m not about to stop using my name.” The group has not yet commented on the matter.