Seattle blues singer Anita White, who has been performing under the name Lady A for two decades, has spoken out on the lawsuit filed by country group formerly known as Lady Antebellum.

Last month, the band announced that they were dropping the “Antebellum” from their name in acknowledgement of the word’s ties to slavery, moving forward simply as Lady A. But White spoke out against this decision, and despite “authentic conversations” between the two acts, any hopes of reaching a compromise were ultimately unsuccessful.

Now White tells Rolling Stone that the band’s decision to rebrand was ultimately counterproductive to its intended purpose of condemning racism.

“To do so by taking the name on which I, a black woman, have built my career in the music industry for over 20 years, is ironic,” Anita says. “…They claim to be allies and that they wanted to change their name out of the racist connotation, and then they sue a black woman for the new name.”

White also feels the group’s efforts towards compromise were ultimately more about optics than they were about genuinely working toward a solution.

“They wanted a story that showed us getting along,” she comments of the talks the two acts shared. “They wanted me to make them look good in the eyes of the public.”

Earlier in July, the former Lady Antebellum filed suit against Lady A, asking a court to affirm their right to use the name without paying the $10 million the singer and her team demanded. Anita tells Rolling Stone that she doesn’t want to share the brand, and that the financial compensation she asked for would have been split between her efforts to rebrand, and donations to Black Lives Matter.

By Carena Liptak
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