Lady A's Charles Kelley says band 'knew we were going to alienate a lot of fans' with name change
Members of the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum knew that not everyone would agree to her decision to change their name, as it did in June. Still, they found it important enough to do it.
"They know that we are trying to leave the world a little better for our children and the next generation," said Charles Kelley on Monday on the Tamron Hall Show. “And we want to be part of the change. We knew this was going to be difficult. We knew we would alienate a lot of fans. You know we didn't see some of these other things coming, but it didn't change how we tried. "
Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley make up Lady A. (Photo: Trae Patton / NBC)
The trio took the step of separating from the period of American history, which includes slavery. Instead, they permanently adopted Lady A, the nickname fans have been calling for years.
The singer Hillary Scott repeated that the musicians were affected by developments in the Black Lives Matter movement.
"I mean, we want our music, our live shows, and everything we're involved in to make everyone feel welcome and invited," said Scott. “And we realized that over the course of the summer I didn't just have to travel and observe this movement that is so necessary in this country and around the world. We started to see what our part was, what part of our first steps and the difference could be. "
Kelley called the band's use of the word "antebellum" since 2006 the result of a "blind spot" which in 2020 resonated with him most.
"And I think I'm so guilty of ... I haven't thought about it," Kelley said. "You know, we came up with the name that thinks of the antebellum house ... I don't know, it's so naive now in retrospect, but I think when we grew up we all have kids now. I mean "Why now? Well, we're much older, we see the world very differently. You know, we try to leave the world a little better for our children and the next generation too."
As Dave Haywood said, they concluded that after a lot of listening they needed an official change.
“I think the experience started with so many conversations with friends of color. We employ several blacks, we've spoken to a lot of blacks in and out of the industry, ”said Haywood. “And our goal was to find out the heart behind what 'antebellum' might mean to some, and unanimously, it brought trouble. This decision was easy for us, we've been going with 'Lady A' since 2006. And I was just looking through my diary the other day and, man, the common denominator in all of my conversations with my friends of color, 'Let's keep this conversation going, all of you. Let's talk more about it. Let's make some long-term commitments that we made with our organization Lady Aid to support some HBCUs and disadvantaged communities. So it wasn't the end, it was the beginning for us. "
Kelley paid tribute to the band's ongoing battle with soul, funk, and gospel singer Anita White, known as Lady A since the 1990s. Over the summer, after White That is Black found the group taking their name, the Country Act reached out and apologized. White accepted. However, both parties have since applied for the right to use Lady A.
"We're trying to solve this problem with Anita, and we're really trying to be a light for everyone out there," said Kelley. "And we know it's going to be difficult, it's a very divisive topic, but it shouldn't be a divisive topic, it's all about love."
As for White, she told Rolling Stone in July that she realizes the band wants to leave behind any association with racism. But “doing this by taking the name on which I, a black woman, have built my career in the music industry for over 20 years is ironic. Lady Antebellum to Lady A has neither changed the connotation nor given in that they are inclusive. You are using your privilege again because I don't want to share the name. "
Anita 'Lady A' White counters Lady A for trademark infringement | RS News 9/16/20
Seattle blues singer Anita "Lady A" White filed a counterclaim against country trio Lady A Tuesday night. This was the last time in an escalating legal battle that began the summer after the group, officially known as Lady Antebellum, changed their name and subsequently sued White for the rights to the name.
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