Is a there any music group more offensive right now than the artists (and I use that term lightly) formerly known as Lady Antebellum?
Like many liberals and Leftist, the Grammy-winning Country music trio became born-again woke in the wake of the George Floyd protests, and decided to drop the “Antebellum”. They opted for “Lady A”, because of Antebellum’s connection to the Civil War. Antebellum/Lady A said on social media that “Lady A” was,
“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[…].
“But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word, acknowledging the central role of slavery during the period.”
Dear fans… pic.twitter.com/7JlcH2NMl6
— Lady A (@ladya) June 11, 2020
You can almost hear a tiny violin and a banjo playing in the background. So calculated.
But as is typical of knee-jerk liberal decisions, the law of unintended consequences slapped someone else in the face. In re-branding themselves as “Lady A”, the band usurped the name and trademark of another music artist, Seattle-based Black blues singer Anita White, who has used “Lady A” for over 20 years.
Talk about embarrassed. However, they were less than regretful, not to mention dishonest in their “negotiations” with the singer.
“The two acts have been trying to come to some kind of agreement about sharing the moniker since early June, when the country band adopted it without realizing White already used the name, or so they claim.
“Publicly, negotiations between the two acts seemed to be moving along fine: They met in mid-June to find ‘common ground,’ and posted identical screenshots of the meeting with matching captions on Instagram. But according to a statement from the band, things soured after White asked for $10 million, and they refused to pay up.”
According to an interview with Seattle’s King 5 News, this wasn’t how it went down. White/Lady A talked about the fallout of the negotiations and how she asked many times of the band’s team, “what does co-existence look like?”
According to White, Antebellum/Lady A had no definitive answer for her. Then they said they would make their “best efforts” to ensure she was not wiped off social media (a promise that no one can honestly make), but failed to give any action steps that would outline how exactly they planned to do this.
The release of Antebellum/Lady A’s album Ocean and White/Lady A’s album Lady A: Live New Orleans this Summer showed that this wasn’t possible. White/Lady A was crowded out by Antebellum/Lady A’s social media dominance.
Apparently these negotiations went on for two or three drafts of the settlement agreement, then stalled.
“They wanted what they wanted,” White alleged. “They wanted me to go, and do a song with them to make them look, ‘Woke’ That’s what they wanted, they were pushing that.”
White said that her team offered suggestions like distinguishing herself as “Lady A the Artist”, and letting the band be “Lady A the Band”.
“Crickets. They said nothing about it, they didn’t address it,” White said.
“We said maybe their management company could take me under their wing, and re-brand me. Still, I’m giving up my name. Re-brand me as something else, so I can come out and do some work. That’s what allyship looks like, if you really care about Black lives.”
White explained that the $10 million ask was to be split between $5 million for White to re-brand in order to get back to work, and $5 million to Black Lives Matter and other community causes of which White was involved. According to White, Antebellum/Lady A said they were very interested in investing into the Black community… just not in a Black artist who served that community.
It seems asking for money from a multi-million dollar band was a bridge too far. Antebellum/Lady A sued Anita White for the use of the name. They have no problem with her still using it—they already own the trademark (since 2011)—they just want to have the right to use it as they see fit, and wiping out 20 years of someone’s blood, sweat, and tears is just an afterthought.
I worked in law firms for 20 years, and saw all types of legal documentation, including trademark applications. So, you cannot tell me that when Antebellum/Lady A applied for the name, the legal trademark search did not bring up any other music artists who were also using the name. Antebellum/Lady A’s feigned ignorance speaks volumes.
As we all know, branding and trademark is everything, so what good is a name if you cannot distinguish yourself, form a reputation, and make money from it? White’s having use of the name, without the benefit of exclusivity on social media, and branding and product rights is next to useless. Antebellum/Lady A fully knew this.
But, no skin off their elitist noses. Antebellum/Lady A want a mea culpa from White and the ability to use the “Lady A” name without impunity.
“The Tennessee-based, Grammy Award-winning trio sued Anita White, who also performs as ‘Lady A,’ in Tennessee in July, seeking a declaration that the band isn’t infringing White’s mark now that it’s changed its name.”
I guess being “woke” only goes as far as it will affect your bottom line.
Now we know.
Anita White/Lady A has counter-sued, claiming Antebellum/Lady A “usurped” her name and caused her to lose business. White also asked the Tennessee federal court to transfer the band’s suit to Washington or nix it altogether.
“White, of Kent, Washington, fired back with a countersuit in Washington federal court in September, accusing the band of ripping off the ‘Lady A’ mark even though they knew she had performed under the moniker for decades.
“The effect of the name change on Ms. White’s ability to distinguish her music in the marketplace was overwhelming,” White said in September. “Internet and social media searches for ‘Lady A,’ which had readily returned results for her music, were now dominated by references to Lady Antebellum. Ms. White’s LADY A brand had been usurped and set on the path to erasure.”
Tone deaf, or just downright stupid? It’s 2020, and there’s been a great deal of stupidity that has characterized this year. I guess Antebellum/Lady A decided to say, “Hold my beer”.
Antebellum/Lady A is now doubling down on that stupid. In light of this active lawsuit, their latest attempt at appearing woke is gag worthy:
We started this fund to support students attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities in hopes of helping relieve financial barriers to higher education & empower Black communities around the country. Applications will be available in early 2021. https://t.co/iySrNjBlna https://t.co/t12i89fbAo
— Lady A (@ladya) December 11, 2020
So, they refuse to give a veteran Black artist, whose name they did usurp, $10 million to re-brand herself and contribute to the Black lives Antebellum/Lady A claims they care about, but they have all the money in the world for the po Black chilluns, and the Black communities that need access to higher education. So much heart! Such visionary artists!
Such dreck. Virtue-signaling shills like Antebellum/Lady A need to be tossed off the stage for their rank hypocrisy. They failed to do the right thing: relinquish their trademark and find another name, or stick with Antebellum. Their fans, and nobody in the Country Music world gives a rat’s ass about the origin, and they know it. Instead, they are ruining White’s career and preventing her from doing the work she loves and that requires more talent and effort than what Hillary, Charles, and David have ever done in their 14-years as the darlings of Country Music.
How about you respectfully allow the original Lady A, Anita White, the peace of having her stage name. Back down. What you @ladya, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, have been doing has been awful and seems full of hypocrisy. Make a good decision before the year is out. https://t.co/Qo056w7HAR pic.twitter.com/A0R9vUdd1z
— Christmas Shellz 🎀 (@shellzie) December 12, 2020
Antebellum/Lady A know they’re wrong, and are attempting to do “penance” by coming up with this fund to help Blacks they do not know, and that is indistinguishable from a thousand other funds helping disadvantaged and low-income Blacks. Antebellum/Lady A does not care about Anita White/Lady A’s Black life. They could not use her as a prop, so they want to erase her from existence.
Tokenism at its finest.