The legal dispute between singer Anita White (aka Lady A) and the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum has reportedly been settled out of court.
In June 2020, the country band who had performed as Lady Antebellum for 14 years, announced they were changing their name to Lady A due to the negative racial connotations associated with the term “antebellum”. It soon emerged after that White, a Black blues and soul singer, had been using the same stage name for more than 20 years.
After attempts to persuade White to allow the band to share the name ‘Lady A’ were unsuccessful, the band sued the singer in July, asking the court “to affirm [their] right to continue to use the name Lady A.”
At the time, they alleged that White had demanded $10million in order to use the name, and also claimed they had had the name trademarked “for years”. White later confirmed she had asked for the sum from the band and had planned to split it – $5million for her own compensation, and $5million donated to relevant causes.
White countersued the band in September 2020, citing “lost sales” and “diminished brand identity” since the trio began using the name Lady A. She sought unspecified damages along with royalties from income the band received while using the Lady A name.
Now, Billboard reports that in a motion filed on Monday (January 31) in Nashville federal court, both acts asked a federal judge for their separate lawsuits to be permanently dismissed.
The terms of the agreement have not been made public, meaning it’s unclear at this stage whether either the singer or band will continue to use the name, or if any money was paid as part of the settlement. Both acts’ social media accounts continue to list them as Lady A.
Back in 2020, White said that she would not allow the band “to obliterate me and my career so they can look ‘woke’ to their fans”. At the time, she also discussed how the band using the Lady A name had impacted her reach.
“My fans used to be able to listen to my music on streaming services; now they struggle to find me,” she said. “Due to Lady Antebellum’s massive rebranding efforts, Lady Antebellum has erased me from every platform.
“Lady Antebellum has used their wealth and influence to intimidate and bully me into submission without offering any real recompense for appropriating my name.”
In December 2020, White released the song ‘My Name Is All I Got’, which alluded to the dispute with lyrics like: “You take our culture, our music, our artistry. Leave us our name. Because you know what? Sometimes it’s all we’ve got.”