Blues artist Anita White, who has performed under Lady A for over a decade, has responded to the lawsuit filed by country band Lady A (formerly known as Lady Antebellum).
The band revealed in a statement that negotiations about the name with White had come to a stand-still. The grounds for the suit were based on an “attempt to enforce purported trademark rights.” The moniker of Lady A is referred to by the band as “a mark that Plaintiffs have held for more than a decade.”
“[R]eluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name,” the band said.
The band changed the name from Lady Antebellum in June 2020 due to racist connotations, after 14 years of performing under it.
The suit acknowledged that White had been performing under the name Lady A since at least 2010. White previously alleged she’s used the moniker for over 20 years.
In a new interview with Vulture, White said that she had been unable to upload new singles to streaming services using the name Lady A.
White claimed she had planned to use half of the settlement payment to help her re-brand. White would then set aside the other half to support independent Black artists.
“Five million dollars is nothing,” White said.
“I’m actually worth more than that, regardless of what they think.”
White categorised the actions of the band as “another white person trying to take something from a Black person.”
“If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing,” she said.
“I am not going to be erased.”
White also alleged both parties were in talks to record a song together. On June 30, however, the band sent a contract that White claims “had no substance.”
“It said that we would coexist and that they would use their best efforts to assist me,” White said.
“I had suggested… they go by… Lady A The Band, and I could be Lady A The Artist, but they didn’t want to.”
Lady A, the band, have yet to respond to White’s claims.