Country Music’s Lady Antebellum Changes Band Name Over Word’s Association With Slavery

Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood Shutterstock

The multiple-Grammy\-winning country music band Lady Antebellum has changed its name to Lady A due to the word antebellum’s association with slavery.

“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,” the trio of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood said in a statement shared on social media today (see it below). “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.”

The band’s statement says the name-change decision was made “after much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues.” The trio said it made “no excuse” for the “lateness” of the action.

Lady A said its next step will be a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative through the band’s LadyAID.

The group has won seven Grammy Awards since its first nomination in 2009, and six CMA Awards since 2008. Five of its seven album have topped Billboard’s Country Albums chart, with the other two peaking at No. 2.

Here is the entire statement:

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Dear Fans,⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ 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 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. Our 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 & generations to come.

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This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2020/06/lady-antebellum-band-name-change-lady-a-slavery-association-1202956697/