Anita White, a blues singer who’s performed under the name Lady A for more than 30 years, is suing the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum. Per Pitchfork, White is seeking unspecified damages and music royalties, citing “lost sales, diminished brand identity, and diminution in the value of and goodwill associated with the mark.” The band, comprised of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood, first sued White on July 8, claiming she had requested $10 million and that they “ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A.” In July, White told Vulture she came to $10 million after the band refused to compromise, planning to use half to rebrand and half to fund charities, including those in support of independent Black artists.
The country trio announced their decision to drop the racism-adjacent “Antebellum” from their name on June 11, as protests in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis continued around the world. They revealed their new name was Lady A without consulting White, a Black woman who has recorded under the name for decades. Once she spoke out, they convened over Zoom, where White says they rejected her attempts to co-exist as Lady A the Band and Lady A the Artist. “Five million dollars is nothing, and I’m actually worth more than that, regardless of what they think,” White previously told Vulture. “But here we go again with another white person trying to take something from a Black person, even though they say they’re trying to help. If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing. And that might require you to give up something because I am not going to be erased.”