All of our major country music news sites are talking about this. You may have already seen it on The Boot, Tastet of Country, Country Now, or Rolling Stone Country- Lady Antebellum is changing their name to Lady A. They say they want to ‘shine a light on racial injustice’.
Lady Antebellum has been a popular, hit-making trio of some of Nashville’s best singers and songwriters. Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood formed the group in 2006, and for 14 years they have been known collectively as Lady Antebellum.
This trio has brought us hits like “Need You Now”, “What If I Never Get Over You”, “Just A Kiss”, “You Look good”, “Bartender,” and many, many others, including the one that first introduced me to this group, “I Run to You”. They have had 10 number one singles, and 14 in the Top Ten. All of those under the name Lady Antebellum.
The letter to fans on the Lady Antebellum website reads as follows:
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 UNDERSTAND THAT MANY OF YOU MAY ASK THE QUESTION “WHY HAVE YOU NOT MADE THIS CHANGE UNTIL NOW?” THE ANSWER IS THAT WE CAN MAKE NO EXCUSE FOR OUR LATENESS TO THIS REALIZATION. WHAT WE CAN DO IS ACKNOWLEDGE IT, TURN FROM IT AND TAKE ACTION.
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 AND GENERATIONS TO COME.
HILLARY, CHARLES & DAVE
We would like to know what all of you think of this name change. Do we expect everyone to agree with us? Of course not. Do we think everyone is going to agree with everyone else? Absolutely not. But, isn’t it wonderful that we sitll live in a country where we have a right to speak freely. Here is what we think:
Just our opinion: We think this is ridiculous, and that the change was absoletely unnecessary. While we understand why they believe it was time for a change, here are the reasons we do not agree.
The word Antebellum, according to the dictionary, means “before the war,” but it wasn’t widely associated with the U.S. Civil War (1861-1865) until after that conflict was over. The word comes from the Latin phrase “ante bellum” (literally, “before the war”), and its earliest known print appearance in English dates back to the 1840s.
That’s all! It doesn’t mean slavery. It has nothing to do with slavery, the Civil War, or any other part of our American history, That era in US history may not have been our proudest moments, but it happened.
Are we going to get to the point where we all believe that changing names, tearing down statues, and getting rid of the confederate flag will actually prove that the Civil War and slavery never happened. No, we know that isn’t possible. No one can re-write the past by trying to make changes in the present.
Keep up with all the Lady A news by visiting their website at www.ladyamusic.com.http://www.countryschatter.com/2020/06/lady-antebellum-changing-name-to-lady-a-countrys-chatter-opinion/NewsLady A,Lady Antebellum