Lady A opens up about changing their name

The members of the band, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, knew that not everyone would agree with their decision to change their name, as they did in June. They thought it was important enough to do it anyway.

“You know we’re trying to leave the world a little better for our children and the next generation,” Charles Kelley said Monday. The Tamron Hall show. “And we want to be a part of the change. I knew this would be difficult. I knew we were going to alienate a lot of fans, you know I didn’t see some of these other things coming, but it didn’t change the way I tried. “

Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley form Lady A. (Photo: Trae Patton / NBC)
Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley form Lady A. (Photo: Trae Patton / NBC)

The trio made the move to dissociate themselves from the period of American history that includes slavery. Instead, they finally adopted Lady A, the nickname they said fans had been calling her for years.

Singer Hillary Scott reiterated that the musicians were affected by watching the evolutions of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I mean, we want our music, our live shows, and, you know, everything we’re part of, so that everyone feels welcome and invited,” Scott said. “And we realized, you know, during the summer I think we don’t go on tour and we don’t just watch this movement, so necessary in this country and all over the world. We started to see what our part is, what part of the first steps and to make a difference could be ”.

Kelley called the band’s use of the word “antebellum” in 2006 the result of a “blind spot,” which is the word that resonated most with him in 2020.

“And I think I’m so guilty of … I didn’t think about it,” Kelley said. “You know, we came up with the name thinking of the Antebellum house … I don’t know, it’s so naive now to look back, but I think as we grew up, we all have children now. I mean, why now? Well, we are much older, we look at the world very differently. You know, we try to leave the world a little better for our children and for the next generation. “

As Dave Haywood said, they have come to the conclusion that they need an official change after a lot of listening.

“I think the experience started with so many conversations with black friends. We hire more people of color, we talked to a lot of people of color, in and out of the industry, ”Haywood said. “And our goal was to find the heart behind what the ‘antebel’ could bring to some, and it unanimously brought difficulties into discussion. So this decision was simple for us, I passed by “Lady A” in 2006. And I was just going through my diary the other day and, man, the common denominator with all my conversations with my black friends was “Please keep going have this conversation, everyone. Let’s talk about this later. Let’s make some long-term commitments in this regard, which we decided to make with our organization, Lady Aid, to support some HBCUs and disadvantaged communities. So it was not the end, it was the beginning for us. “

Kelley acknowledged the band’s ongoing battle with soul, funk and gospel singer Anita White, who has been named Lady A since the 1990s. During the summer, after White, who is black, noticed that the group was taking its name, the country act arrived and apologized. White agreed. However, both parties sued for the right to use Lady A.

“We’re trying to solve this problem with Anita and we’re trying to be a light to everyone,” Kelley said. “And we know it’s going to be hard, it’s a very divisive issue, but it shouldn’t be a divisive issue, it’s just about love.”

As for White, she said Rolling Stone In July, he acknowledged that the band wanted to leave behind any association with racism. But “doing this by taking the name that I, a woman of color, have built my career in the music industry for over 20 years is ironic. Lady Antebellum to Lady A did not change the connotation or gave in to be inclusive. They once again use their privilege to take because I do not want to share the name. “

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