NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) — In the latest sign of the national zeitgeist, Grammy Award-winning country music trio Lady Antebellum has changed their name to Lady A.
Antebellum is a Latin term used in the United States to reference the period in history prior to the American civil war and is often used in that context to refer to the distinctive architecture and fashion of slave-era American southern states and plantation life in particular.
It was precisely that association which the band says prompted their decision for a mid-career name change during this moment of national reflection on racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
A statement from the band announcing the name change said:
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 understand that many of you may ask the question “why have you not made this change until now?” the answer is that we can make no excuse for our lateness to this realization. What we can do is acknowledge it, turn from it and take action.
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. Your 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 and generations to come.
The group, which was founded in 2006, features Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood, and Hillary Scott, who is the daughter of noted country music artist Linda Davis. Since their founding, every one of their seven studio album has peaked at #1 or #2 on the Billboard Country Charts, but virtually all also crossed over into top ten of the the mainstream Billboard 200 chart as well.