Country trio Lady Antebellum have decided to drop the latter half of their group name, shortening it to simply “Lady A” — a nickname they’ve already been using for years. The Grammy-winning band of Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood made the announcement in an Instagram post on Thursday.
“We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases black women and men have always faced and continue to face every day. Now, blind spots we didn’t even known existed have been revealed,” they wrote.
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“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,” they continued.
The group had originally adopted the problematic name after taking their first photos outside an antebellum home, thinking about the way Southern music had influenced them all as performers. They admit they hadn’t given much thought to the word’s definition and its negative connotations with nostalgic notions of the pre-Civil War South.
“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,” they wrote. “Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that it indeed did just that. Today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.”
Given that the name has been a common criticism of the trio since its arrival in 2007, Lady A also addressed why they’re just now making this change.
“The answer is that we can make no excuse for our lateness to this realization. What we can do is acknowledge it, turn from it, and take action.” The band also pledged to make a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative via their own LadyAID fund.
Most recently, Lady A released their seventh studio album Ocean in 2019, which included the country radio Number One “What If I Never Get Over You.” In 2011, the trio won four Grammy Awards for their crossover smash “Need You Now,” including Song and Record of the Year.
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