Country music band Lady Antebellum is ditching their name due to the word “antebellum” and its association with slavery. Going forward, the Grammy Award winning pop band will be called Lady A. The band has played under their original name for the past 14 years, but thanks to current events in the United States, they have seen “blind spots we didn’t even know existed.”
The Antebellum South was a period in United States history from the late 18th century until the start of the American Civil War in 1861 in the South. There was tremendous economic growth during this time due to slavery.
With protests going on all over the world in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, Lady Antebellum started to receive some commentary on their name. Band members Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelley released a statement about the name change that came “after much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest black friends and colleagues.” You can read another portion of the statement below.
“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.”
When it comes down to it, Lady Antebellum claim they were unaware of the word antebellum’s history in the 14 years they were using it. It seems strange that nobody within the band’s inner circle, fans, media, or others didn’t think to bring this up at least once in 14 years, but the band is saying that is the case this time around. They are incredibly sorry for their name choice now. The statement continues by stating this.
“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. We 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. So today, we speak up and make a change.”
In addition to the name change and massive apology, Lady Antebellum has donated to the Equal Justice Initiative, which is an Alabama-based non-profit that fights racial inequality, through the group’s charitable organization, named LadyAID. According to the group, this is only the beginning of their work to help fight racism. As they move forward, there will be more charities and announcements.
Lady A’s announcement has received mixed responses after a cursory look at the original post’s comments from this morning. There are plenty of fans who are upset about the name change and are blaming “liberals” for the decision. However, the response has mostly been positive with many praising the band for evolving and admitting they made a mistake. You can read the apology and name change announcement above, thanks to the Lady A Instagram account.