Blues veteran Lady A and country superstars Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum) have agreed to settle a lawsuit over their shared name. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, they filed joint requests for dismissal on Monday. Details have not been made public, and it’s unclear if money changed hands or whether both parties will call themselves Lady A going forward.
Lady Antebellum drastically shortened their name in 2020 following protests over George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis cop. At the time, they wrote of antebellum, “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. We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused.”
However, they also failed to “take into account” that the name Lady A had already been in use for some 30 years by Anita White. Band members Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood didn’t contact this more established Lady A, and any goodwill they had accumulated for dropping antebellum quickly evaporated as it became clear how thoroughly they were screwing over a Black blues singer. The country trio even filed a lawsuit against her in July 2020.
The original Lady A responded in a strongly worded statement, writing, “Lady Antebellum has used their wealth and influence to intimidate and bully me into submission without offering any real recompense for appropriating my name. It is now clear that their apologies, friendly texts, and playing on my love of God were just insincere gestures aimed at quieting me. Well, I will not be quiet any longer.”
She followed up with a countersuit and a musical statement, “My Name Is All I Got.” That was in December of 2020. Since then the various legal actions have wound their slow way through the courts. Over a year later, a resolution has finally been reached.
Neither Lady A has released a public statement at this time. White’s lawyer Brendan Hughes of the firm Cooley said, “Anita White aka Lady A is an amazing individual and artist. Cooley appreciates how important it is for women and people of color to tell their own stories. This is Anita’s story to tell.”