A few weeks back, members of the group formerly known as Lady Antebellum announced they would be changing their name to Lady A to eliminate any connotations that link the band to slavery. Seattle based blues singer Anita White came forward claiming she had been using the name for years. After weeks of trying to come to an agreement with the singer, the group has announced it would be moving forward with a lawsuit.
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"Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended," the band Lady A released in a statement to the media. "She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years."
Reportedly the band decided to sue after "White's attempt to enforce purported trademark rights in a mark that Plaintiffs have held for more than a decade. “ The band is not seeking any monetary damages.
According to the lawsuit, the band had been using the name Lady A, in addition to the name Lady Antebellum, since 2006-2007. They officially dropped the Lady Antebellum name on June 11 in light of the ongoing protests against racial injustice.
Lady A became an official trademark for the band in 2011 after no one filed opposition to the name. Prior to 2020, White never came forward to challenge them using the name.
Although the band’s legal team concedes that White has identified as Lady A since 2010 and uses the name on her Spotify page, they also note that her substantially smaller following should play a part in the band’s right to the name.
Reportedly, since the name change, things weren’t always so rocky between the two camps. On June 15, White posted a Zoom call between her and the band on her Instagram page. During the call, the artists agreed that both of them could continue using the name and they even talked about collaborating on a musical number.
However, the next day White told the press that she received a draft agreement from the band’s attorney and she was “not happy about it. Their camp is trying to erase me and I'll more to say tomorrow," she said. "Trust is important and I no longer trust them." White did not provide any further comment about what had transpired.
Lady A’s legal representatives left it with the following comment, "We're disappointed that we won't be able to work together with Anita for that greater purpose. We're still committed to educating ourselves, our children and doing our part to fight for the racial justice so desperately needed in our country and around the world. ...We hope Anita and the advisers she is now listening to will change their minds about their approach. We can do so much more together than in this dispute."
We wish both teams luck in coming to a resolution they are happy with.