Blues singer Lady A faces off against country band Lady A.
Wednesday on Twitter, the Seattle-based artist, whose real name is Anita White, appeared to respond to a lawsuit filed by the country band formerly called Lady Antebellum.
“No Weapon formed against me shall prosper,” White wrote, adding the hashtag #TheRealLadyA.
White also posted a message on her Instagram page that read, “God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggles, and a reward for your faithfulness. Don’t give up!” She included the hashtag #TheTruthIsLoud.
On June 11, the country trio — consisting of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood — announced that they changed their name to Lady A because the word “antebellum” refers to the period of history before the Civil War, which includes slavery.
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Dear Fans, As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive of all. We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed. After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word “antebellum” from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start. When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the southern “antebellum” style home where we took our first photos. As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the south that influenced us…Southern Rock, Blues, R&B, Gospel and of course Country. But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery. We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us. We feel like we have been Awakened, but this is just one step. There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better. We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism. We will continue to educate ourselves, have hard conversations and search the parts of our hearts that need pruning—to grow into better humans, better neighbors. Our next outward step will be a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID. Our prayer is that if we lead by example…with humility, love, empathy and action…we can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices, while influencing our children & generations to come.
Days later, the band posted a screenshot of their digital meeting with White, in which it appears that both parties agreed to sharing the moniker “Lady A.”
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Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A. Transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had. We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope. More to come. #LadyABluesSoulFunkGospelArtist #TheTruthIsLoud @ladya_bluesdiva @dexter_allen_entertainment @oliveriiijohn
However, per the band’s filing on Wednesday, their attorneys allege that White’s new legal counsel “delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand” after the two parties had a discussion about “continued coexistence” under the name Lady A.
In a statement obtained by People, the band alleges that White asked for $10 million.
“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended. She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years,” it read.
In the filing, lawyers say that the group have held the Lady A trademark since 2010.
“We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will — today’s action doesn’t change that,” the statement continued.
“We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to work together with Anita for that greater purpose. We’re still committed to educating ourselves, our children and doing our part to fight for the racial justice so desperately needed in our country and around the world. We’ve only taken the first small steps and will prioritize racial equality as a key pillar of the work of [their charity] LadyAID, specifically leaning into supporting and empowering our youth. We hope Anita and the advisers she is now listening to will change their minds about their approach. We can do so much more together than in this dispute,” it concluded.
While the band is not asking for money, they are seeking a court declaration that states they are legally able to use the Lady A trademark without infringing on any trademark rights.
Last month, White wrote an email to Newsday saying that she “received a draft agreement from the Antebellum camp” but is “not happy about [it] yet again after talking in good faith.”
“Their camp is trying to erase me... Trust is important and I no longer trust them,” White was quoted saying.