African American blues singer says she won't be 'erased' by country band's lawsuit

Former Lady Antebellum band is taking legal action to claim their new name, 'Lady A.' However, African American blues singer Anita White, who has been using the Lady A moniker long before the band even existed, is not backing down.

Updated: July 10, 2020 - 3:37pm

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African American blues singer Anita White is blasting the Southern band formerly known as Lady Antebellum for trying to erase her in an on-going lawsuit over who has the right to perform under the name Lady A.

White, who is based in Seattle, reportedly said she has been known as Lady A for three decades before the country outfit even existed.

“If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing,” White told Vulture in a recent interview. “And that might require you to give up something, because I am not going to be erased.”

Amid anti-racial protest following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, Lady Antebellum last month announced it was going to change its name to Lady A due to its connection to slavery.  The band members said they were “committ[ing] to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism.”

The country group filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against White after announcing via a Zoom call that they were working out a solution since the country band has had the name Lady A trademarked since 2011.

“We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope,” said the country band last month.

Included in their talks was a possible collaboration between the artists. Their first contract promised the coexistence of the two artists where they could both use the name, White told Vulture. The band would also promote White’s music on social media.

However, their negotiations fell apart. After seeking new legal counsel, White revised the settlement agreement, asking for $10 million to drop the name Lady A. The money would be distributed between herself, the Black Lives Matter organization, a Seattle-based charity for seniors and youth and other musicians in need of legal counsel, White stated.

“They want to appropriate something I used for decades,” she told the magazine. “I was Lady A for 30 years, regardless of whether I have a trademark.”

White also said the ideal outcome going forward would be for the band to change their name entirely.

“We hope Anita and the advisers she is now listening to will change their minds about their approach,” the band wrote in a statement about the lawsuit published by Billboard. “We can do so much more together than in this dispute.”

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