Yesterday, the Nashville country trio Lady A(ntebellum) filed a lawsuit against blues singer Lady A over their right to use the same name after they announced last month that they were changing it due to the term antebellum’s association with slavery. Their lawsuit claimed that Anita White, the 61-year-old Black woman who has been performing as Lady A for decades, asked for “an exorbitant monetary demand” in order for their two identical project names to coexist.
White’s lawyers asked for $10 million dollars which, in a new interview with Vulture, she says would have gone half toward her effort to rebrand and half to organizations working toward racial justice. Lady A(ntebellum)’s suit does not ask for monetary compensation or for White to stop using the Lady A name, but the band clearly do not want to pay up.
Per White, a contract that Lady A(ntebellum) sent over last week “had no substance.” “It said that we would coexist and that they would use their best efforts to assist me on social-media platforms, Amazon, iTunes, all that,” she told Vulture. “But what does that mean? I had suggested on the Zoom call that they go by the Band Lady A, or Lady A the Band, and I could be Lady A the Artist, but they didn’t want to do that.”
“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,” she said. “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. 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.”
Lady A(ntebellum) have not yet responded. Read the full interview with White here.