The Grammy-winning country group Lady Antebellum, who you may know from this song playing while waiting for an oil change/dentist appointment/mattress salesperson ...
... is looking to drop the "ntebellum" from their name and rebrand as "Lady A." The word "antebellum," you see, is a reference to the "Antebellum South" which is the period of American history right before the Civil War and, by extension, before the end of slavery. It's a period of time that is sometimes romanticized and that romanticism is often criticized because again, that was a time during the whole slavery thing. It's why "Lady Antebellum" is a bad band name to have in general, but it's an especially bad band name to have in 2020 when our country is actively protesting racial injustice. Except there's one problem. The name Lady A has already been taken by this woman:
Ah, a classic mistake. Surely Lady Antebellum will just change their name to "Lady Ant" or "Two-Dudes-And-A-Lady-A" or ... oh, what's this? They're just going to sue Anita White, the original Lady A, for the name? Well, okay then.
Yeah, as it turns out, suing a Black musician to steal her name to prove that you aren't racist doesn't make you look very not racist. It actually kind of makes you look like a bunch of dixie dicks. That Anita White has been playing under the name of Lady A for over 20 years and having released multiple albums makes it all the more disrespectful. Says White:
"This is my life. Lady A is my brand, I've used it for over 20 years, and I'm proud of what I've done. This is too much right now. They're using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time. If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before. It shouldn't have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it. It's an opportunity for them to pretend they're not racist or pretend this means something to them. If it did, they would've done some research. And I'm not happy about that. You found me on Spotify easily - why couldn't they?"
She's right. All it takes when picking a band name is to do a five-minute Google (or Bing ya weirdo) search to find out if your band name has already been taken. Then again you could also have done that five-minute search to find out if your original band name was racist in the first place.
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Top Image: Capitol Records Nashville, CD Baby