Grammy Award-winning country group Lady Antebellum has announced they are changing their band name to “Lady A” due to the former's link to slavery in America. The band - Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood - announced the name change in a statement on Twitter.
"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," the statement read.
"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. 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.”
The antebellum period in the United States spanned from 1812 to the beginning of the Civil War. The time was characterized by the rise in disagreement between abolitionists in the north and those in the south who supported slavery. During the time, slavery in the south was a major factor of the cotton boom in the country and plantation owner’s wealth was often dependent upon how many slaves they owned.
The group said they 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. We hope you will dig in and join us.”
The band added that they plan to continue to educate themselves and pan to donate to the Equal Justice Initiative through their LadyAID foundation.
"There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better. We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice anti-racism," their statement also said.
Some people were not pleased with the name change as people said it was an oversight on the group's part considering blues singer, Anita White has released multiple albums under the name Lady A.
“This is too much right now. They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time," White told Rolling Stone. "If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before. It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it.
“It’s an opportunity for them to pretend they’re not racist or pretend this means something to them,” White continued. “If it did, they would’ve done some research. And I’m not happy about that. You found me on Spotify easily — why couldn’t they?”
The group responded Friday saying they had no idea someone already went by that name and planned to reach out to her, according to the magazine