A blues singer from Seattle, Wash., who goes by Lady A — real name Anita White — is speaking out after the Grammy-winning country music band Lady Antebellum recently changed its name to the moniker she’s been using for over two decades.
“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,” White told Rolling Stone in an interview published on Friday.
She continued: “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.”
White went on to say that “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 asked the outlet.
Rolling Stone notes that White is getting ready to release a new record on her birthday, July 18, titled: “Lady A: Live in New Orleans.”
According to the outlet, moving forward, White said she’s unsure where she sits when it comes to a legal standpoint, adding that she is set to speak with a lawyer next week to go over her options. Per the site, White says she holds a business trademark for Lady A LLC.
“I don’t know if [the new Lady A] are going to give me a cease-and-desist,” White explained. “I don’t know how they’d react. But I’m not about to stop using my name.
Lady Antebellum performs at the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards in 2018.
“For them to not even reach out is pure privilege,” she continued. “I’m not going to lay down and let this happen to me. But now the burden of proof is on me to prove that my name is in fact mine, and I don’t even know how much I’ll have to spend to keep it.”
A rep for Lady Antebellum told Rolling Stone Friday morning that the band was not aware of White and that they also planned on reaching out to her.
On Thursday, Lady Antebellum announced on social media that it had changed its name to Lady A.
The decision, the group said, comes “after much personal reflection” and conversations with “closest black friends” as Antebellum refers to a period of time “which includes slavery.”
Band members Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood said in a statement they are regretful and embarrassed for not taking into consideration the word’s associations with slavery.
Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum at the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards.
The statement said that they chose the name after the antebellum-style home where they shot their first band photos, and it reminded them of Southern styles of music.
But they said in recent weeks, their eyes have been opened to “blindspots we didn’t even know existed” and “the injustices, inequality and biases black women and men have always faced.”
Fox News’ Jessica Napoli and The Associated Press contributed to this report