Lady Antebellum changes band name to 'Lady A': 'We have been awakened'

Say goodbye to Lady Antebellum and give a warm welcome to Lady A — unless of course you are a diehard fan and have been calling them that right “from the start.”

That’s right country music lovers, on June 11, the world-renowned country music trio formerly known as Lady Antebellum adapted their fan-made nickname and officially became Lady A.

Lady A took to Twitter on Thursday morning with the news, saying that they had “been awakened” by not only the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd, but the unfortunate historical “associations” with the word “antebellum” that ultimately made them come to their final, name-changing decision.

“We are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word,” wrote the Nashville-based group, acknowledging that “antebellum” refers to a period in history pre-dating the Civil War, during the height of slavery in the U.S.

They continued: “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.”

“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 band added.

“The nickname our fans gave us almost from the start.”

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Lady A revealed that the name Lady Antebellum was initially inspired by the “southern ‘antebellum’ style home” where they had their first band photo shoot.

“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,” the Need You Now rockers said.

On top of that, Lady A issued an apology to their fans, or anyone who may have been offended by their original band name.

They wrote: “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.”

(L-R) Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum perform in concert during Summer Plays On tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Sept. 27, 2018 in Alpharetta, Georgia.

(L-R) Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum perform in concert during Summer Plays On tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Sept. 27, 2018 in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Paras Griffin / Getty Images

“As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge … inclusive of all,” wrote the band.

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In wake of the name change, the band members: Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley, pledged to make a donation towards the Equal Justice Initiative through their own charity foundation, LadyAID.

The Equal Justice Initiative is an initiative that works towards putting an end to not only mass incarceration and excessive punishment, but racial inequality too.

“We feel like we have been Awakened,” wrote Lady A. “But this is just one step. There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better.”

Floyd, a Black man, died on May 25, after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis. He was 46.

The deaths of Floyd, and other Black individuals including Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, have helped renew calls to fight systemic racism and put an end to police brutality across the world.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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