The conflict between country trio Lady A and Seattle-based soul singer Anita “Lady A” White may be far from over.
It all started almost a month ago, when Lady A decided to drop the word Antebellum from their name, out of sensitivity over the fact that it’s connected to slavery. Shortly after, they learned of White, who says she’s been performing as Lady A for more than two decades.
After a subsequent meeting via Zoom, it seemed all was well between the two acts. But on Wednesday, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood revealed that’s no longer so.
“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the three said in a statement.
“She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.”
The suit seeks no money from White, but simply asks the courts to reiterate that the country trio is lawfully using the name.
The court filings allege that Lady Antebellum was using Lady A interchangeably as far back as 2006-2007, and applied to register the name in 2010, which was approved the next year.
“We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A,” the trio’s statement continues, “and never will – today’s action doesn’t change that.”
The “What If I Never Get Over You” hitmakers reveal they’d also been working on a song with White, and they’ve also taken steps to “prioritize racial equality as a key pillar of the work of LadyAID,” their charity.
So far, White hasn’t released a public response.
By Stephen Hubbard
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