Lady A the Band Sues Lady A the Singer

Country group sues singer over their use of the name she's been using for decades
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2020 1:02 AM CDT
Lady A Sues Lady A
In this Nov. 14, 2018 file photo, Dave Haywood, from left, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley, of Lady A, formerly Lady Antebellum, arrive at the 52nd annual CMA Awards in Nashville, Tenn.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

It seemed like things were going to work out between Lady A (the country group previously known as Lady Antebellum) and Lady A (Anita White, the Seattle-based Black blues and soul singer who has been using the name for more than 20 years)—but alas, apparently not. The country group is suing White in federal court after negotiations between the two sides failed, the AP reports. The band is not seeking monetary damages, but wants the court to rule that their use of "Lady A" does not infringe on White's alleged trademark rights to that name. The group says it applied for trademarks for "Lady A" back in 2010 and no person or entity opposed the application. In a statement, the band alleges White's camp demanded $10 million from the group, after which negotiations broke down, per Pitchfork.

“When we learned that Ms. White had also been performing under the name Lady A, we had heartfelt discussions with her about how we can all come together and make something special and beautiful out of this moment,” the band says in a statement. “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.” This tweet and its associated replies offer a sample of some of the reactions to the lawsuit. For example, one person suggested calling the group "Lady A-Hole," while another pointed out that it's not like changing the name to "Lady A" really changed anything since the A pretty much still stands for "antebellum." "Lady Antebellum making a superficial change to cloak their white supremacist roots in civility then suing a black woman to steal her property is pretty f---ing antebellum," reads the original tweet.

(More Lady Antebellum stories.)

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