The Black Madonna has changed her name to The Blessed Madonna after a petition calling for her to change it due to controversy was set up.
The US DJ, whose real name is Marea Stamper, announced the news today (July 20), saying she “should have listened harder to other perspectives” on the name.
A petition had previously argued that “black Madonna” icons had special significance for “black catholics in the US, Caribbean and Latin America”, and added: “Religious connotations aside though, it should be abundantly clear that in 2020, a white woman calling herself ‘black’ is highly problematic.”
Stamper, who is white, said that her original stage name was “a reflection of my family’s lifelong and profound Catholic devotion to a specific kind of European icon of the Virgin Mary which is dark in hue”, however she came to recognise that it courted controversy.
“My artist name has been a point of controversy, confusion, pain and frustration that distracts from things that are a thousand times more important than any single word in that name,” she wrote on Twitter, “we all have a responsibility to try and affect positive change in any way we can”.
I have changed my name to The Blessed Madonna. pic.twitter.com/prCy5Qfb22
— The Blessed Madonna (@blessed_madonna) July 20, 2020
The Blessed Madonna is the latest in a line of musicians who’ve changed their names recently in light of a renewed focus on race and social justice.
The Dixie Chicks are now known as The Chicks, while Lady Antebellum are now called Lady A. A black US artist who’s performed under the name Lady A for more than 30 decades has since challenged the latter group and a lawsuit has been launched.