The band formerly known as Lady Antebellum sues Black artist Lady A over her name

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Almost one month ago, Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A. It was, they said, an overdue measure to avoid the pro-slavery, pro-Confederacy inplications of “antebellum.” They were striving to be more inclusive and respectful, especially as the Black Lives Matter protests were growing stronger every day. The problem? Well, I mean, there were several problems, but one of the biggest technical problems was that they seemed to adopt “Lady A” without doing their due diligence legally. There is a singer named Anita White who already sings under the name Lady A, and almost as soon as the band announced their name change, there was a big trademark dispute. Now the country band is suing the Black singer Lady A. I can’t.

Country group Lady A, which dropped the word “Antebellum” from its name because of the word’s ties to slavery, has filed a lawsuit against a Black singer who has performed as Lady A for years. The Grammy-winning vocal group filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal court after negotiations with Anita White broke down in recent weeks. According to the lawsuit, the band is seeking a ruling that their use of the trademark “Lady A” does not infringe on White’s alleged trademark rights of the same name. The band is not seeking monetary damages.

The group, made up Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, announced the name change last month, saying they regretted not taking into consideration the word antebellum’s associations with slavery.

But White, who has been releasing blues and soul music for years as Lady A, complained publicly that the band never reached out to her before changing their name. Negotiations over the name failed to reach an agreement.

According to the lawsuit, the band applied for trademarks for the name “Lady A” for entertainment services and for use on clothing back in 2010 and no oppositions were filed by any person or entity.

“When we learned that Ms. White had also been performing under the name Lady A, we had heartfelt discussions with her about how we can all come together and make something special and beautiful out of this moment,” said the group in a statement. “We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will — today’s action doesn’t change that.”

[From THR]

My queendom for a background in trademark law! But it seems like if Anita White/Lady A had already been recording and releasing music under the name Lady A, then she already had trademark rights? Or something? Honestly, this is a situation where the law is only one part of it. The optics of an all-white country band suing a Black artist for the rights to the name she’s been using for years… wow. Maybe the band should change their name to Lady Karen.

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124 Responses to “The band formerly known as Lady Antebellum sues Black artist Lady A over her name”

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  1. Levans says:

    I don’t know the law on this, but the optics aren’t great! Yikes

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      I doubt there was a lot of “reaching out” on the part of Lady A(ntebellum) before they changed their name-seemed pretty sudden to me. The band is throwing the real Lady A-she’s been performing using this name for years!-under a bus. I guess Lady A(ntebellum) will let Lady A the blues singer still use her name performing-that is kind (sarcasm)-although it seems that Lady A the blues singer is truly the one who should be granting permission.
      This is from a retired malpractice lawyer with no entertainment law experience-feel free to correct me!

      • AppleTartin says:

        She said they had a zoom meeting and they were all love and light and she knew something was up. Then they said they would do a collab if she signed all rights to her name away. It was a set up.

      • OnceUponA says:

        I know the law on this. They don’t have a leg to stand on. And whoever their lawyers and/or management might be — they need to fire them instantly. No one in their right mind does a name change like this.

        But yes, as badly as they have botched this legally — it’s nothing compared to the horrendous optics.

    • Chica1971 says:

      Several lawyers on Twitter weighed in and said it will likely to win by Black lady especially since she has several albums that were released under Lady A.

      • holly hobby says:

        Yeah that’s what I think because Anita (sorry all the Lady A references are confusing so for this instance I’m using the original Lady A’s given name) has been using that name for years.

        It is quite laughable that this white country group is suing that woman. They don’t have a chance in hell in winning (doesn’t matter if they filed for a trademark when someone else had that moniker for years). They say they don’t want money from this case but if you’re forcing Anita to spend money on an attorney to defend it, isn’t that the same? Are they taking a page from the Rump’s playbook of wearing opponents down with a lawsuit?

    • Eleonor says:

      I don’t know them, and I am not a lawyer but someone should have advised them?

    • TaraBest says:

      There is no way they didn’t know about Lady A before they made the decision to change their name. Almost a decade ago my ex was naming his band and you’d better believe we did a search through Google and Facebook for any other bands already using the names we came up with. I cannot imagine a giant recording artist not doing the same.

  2. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    They’d look better if they just kept their original name.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      They’d look better if they’d just shut up about their name.

      • TheOriginalMia says:

        Exactly, Who. No one was asking them to change their name in token solidarity.

      • holly hobby says:

        Yep and when was the last time they crossed over to mainstream radio with another hit? The last one was the “quarter after one song?”

      • NoWords says:

        Exactly, when I saw this story I just thought “okay, you change your name to avoid associating with slavery. And then you………sue a black lady for a name she’s been using for like over a decade?” I hope they lose and Lady A(nita) gets to keep her name. I don’t know the law but this just does not seem right at all.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Why not change it to Lady Postbellum?

  3. Becks1 says:

    Its the optics that are so bad here. Maybe they will both be able to keep using the name. I know next to nothing about trademark law. But, how could Lady AB not really how BAD this looks, to change your name to try to avoid looking like you are glorifying the South/slavery, but then you turn around and sue the black woman who has been using that name for years???

  4. Anners says:

    Wow. Just…wow. Nothing says ‘performative wokeness’ like suing a black artist whose name you stole in an effort to appear less racist. I just can’t with people today. I am tired. I honestly don’t know how the black community has held it together as long as they have. I’m so so sorry I never saw how awful we are before this last year.

  5. lola says:

    They didn’t “realize” their band name was racist and now they are suing a black woman over her name that she has been using for years…. Okaaay

  6. Betsy says:

    I still think “Stacy” or “Amy” is a better generational and racial insult name than “Karen.”

    Jesus “Lady A,” tone deaf much? Is it the fault of the real Lady A that you couldn’t be bothered to do a simple google search prior to changing your name? Why would you think you’re entitled to a name that is actually being used by another artist? Come the fck on. Drop your idiotic suit. Pick a better name – and do the bare minimum of due diligence this time!

    • Desert Lizard says:

      I guess they think they are entitled to the name bc they are white, rich, and more famous than the real Lady A. Talk about tone deaf. And there are people who will defend them bc they are white, rich, and more famous than her. They’ve gotten terrible advice from someone.

    • bettyrose says:

      I’m partial to the growing movement to rename Karens as Ivanka. “Lady Ivanka” would make a great country band name!

      • NoWords says:

        Hahaha I feel like Ivanka would get to much pleasure over having the word “Lady” in front of her name. Maybe Lady Ant? They could get little ant mascots, antennas, and everything!

    • Who is Justice Beaver? says:

      A commenter over at Dlisted said, quite rightly, that the A for Lady A STILL STANDS FOR ANTEBELLUM! if that word is no longer acceptable, then change your damn name, dont abbreviate it half assedly and then drag this lovely soul singer lady through court. If I had ever been a fan, I wouldn’t be anymore. Way to sue an innocent black lady, who didnt ask for any of this, during a pandemic. Slow clap.

  7. Alexandria says:

    Wow. That’s all I have. Wow.

    Now I want to check out the original Lady A.

    • Courtney B says:

      Yeah, hopefully this brings her a ton of attention.

    • lucy2 says:

      Me too! I will definitely do that.

      It’s bad enough they had the racist name to start with , but now this just makes them look HORRIBLE. They have a huge platform and tons of cash, they should just say “oops, our bad, there’s already a great musician recording under that name, we’re now called _____”

      I hope the real Lady A wins in court, and the stupid band has to cover all of her legal expenses too.

  8. ABritGuest says:

    Really great example of mere performative allyship. How do they not know how bad this is and looks. Trash

  9. OriginalLala says:

    I mean they were happily known as Lady Antebellum for years….clearly they don’t actually give a sh*t about looking like racist A-holes.

    • Astrid says:

      +1

    • OriginalLara says:

      Yes, exactly. The band formed in 2006, not 1936. They knew the racist connotations from the very start.

    • Christina says:

      Fighting the Black woman, putting her in her place, will please their fan base. They say that she wants $10 million dollars. Why not just change their name? This is David and Goliath.

      The A in white “Lady A” still stands for Antebellum. This defends the hearts of their fan base, and the Zoom call allowed them to perform anti-racism to justify to their fans that they were reasonable. If you want to keep your damn money, just change your name. Idiots.

  10. Christine says:

    Wow they’re really embracing this whole white privilege thing

  11. Chaine says:

    What horrible, horrible people.

  12. Jen says:

    So Lady Antebellum trademarked the name Lady A for merchandising in 2010 because their fans called them that? And Lady A didn’t object at the time (probably because she wasn’t aware). So it sounds like Lady Antebellum might have the legal standing.

    However, that does NOT mean they have the moral standing or that this isn’t just a really gross look!

    • Agirlandherdog says:

      This is my reading of the situation, also. I think legally, Scott et. al. will prevail because they trademarked Lady A ten years ago. Doesn’t play well in the court of public opinion though.

    • Kate says:

      Except the original Lady A has been using it for 20 years so her right goes back farther. Not a trademark lawyer, but I don’t think you can take the right away from someone who has clearly been using it longer.

      • Bruna says:

        they don’t want to take the right away, from what I’ve read. They want to be able to share they name

      • Megan H says:

        I am a trademark attorney. It’s more complicated than the reports are making it seem. Anita sent a demand letter requesting 10 million dollars for use of the name. Lady Antebellum is seeking a judgement that the name Lady A doesn’t infringe Anita’s rights to use Lady A based on their coexistence for the last 10 years and the lack of actual confusion between consumers.

      • lucy2 says:

        Even if they want to share it, them being a big band will bury the original Lady A anytime someone searches for her. It’ll be all the band – their tour dates, their albums, their interviews.
        They need to give up and change it. Let her have it alone, as she’s had for 20 years.

      • bettyrose says:

        Megan:
        Thanks for explaining that. Sounds like they’re just saying “hey, let’s share the name and it’ll all be hugs and sunshine.” So they’re not trying to take the name away from the original performer and maybe they have a legitimate claim to not being terrible people. Still, read the room. Being on the right side of history here requires that they acknowledge a mistake, apologize to the original Lady A, and pick another name. Doubling down on their mistake is pandering to a very specific population, and *poof* there goes the claim to not being bad people.

      • Jack says:

        I agree the optics are bad, but Lady AB is actually ‘known’ as Lady A in the country music world. When they are introduced on the radio or fans talk about them, they have always referred to the group as Lady A. They aren’t trying to take anything away from this other Lady A from what i’m reading above so I hope things work out well for all of them.

  13. Allergy says:

    Lady A had the name first!!! Morons.
    And what band wants to be called Lady A anyway? It’s a stupid name for a band.
    Hope Lady A the singer gets really famous because of this!

  14. BlackWomenMatter says:

    White people cannot be trusted!

    • Mary says:

      Ookaaaay…… *rolls eyes at gross generalization*

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      If you truly believe this and aren’t being sarcastic or trolling, then I’m very sorry that you’ve had such horrible experiences, and I sincerely hope that someday you’ll get to meet at least one white person who will change your mind.

  15. SamC says:

    I read the reason the band Lady A is suing is the singer Lady A requested $10 million settlement. Not at all suggesting the singer doesn’t have a valid claim, but the band is balking at the amount and probably figure since they have deeper pockets, the singer would drop a suit/counterclaim.

  16. Scal says:

    People told them for years their name was racist for years-they are just pretending to care now.

    And jeez-do a google search. What if lady a was a crazy street drug? Or the same of a serial killer? It just shows how lazy and entitled their team is. And suing a long time black artist to try and steal her trademark is NOT a good look. She’s been around since before 2010 so go ahead and try it jerks.

    Who wants to bet negotiations broke down because they wanted her not to do any more recordings under that name? Perform live and keep the ones you have-but we have it from now on.

  17. lemon8 says:

    This is so gross. I am guessing they have resources that the original Lady A does not have. Just change your name. People and groups re-brand all the time.

  18. smcollins says:

    I have another question. Merely changing their name to Lady A was supposed to do what, exactly? So because the word Antebellum isn’t spelled out, and is reduced to just a letter, it makes it okay now? What does the A now stand for? Not only does Ms. White have more of a legal claim to the stage name Lady A, not just because she’s been using it for years, but because (I’m assuming) the A is literally for her name Anita. Ugh…what a mess and peak white privilege.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      If I called myself Lady F, people would definitely know what F stood for! ; )

    • MissMarierose says:

      Yeah, that’s a good point.
      A sports reporter tweeted yesterday that the Washington NFL team wasn’t going to change their name, which is an epithet for Native Americans, they’re just going to stop using Native American imagery. Well, that doesn’t suddenly mean that people don’t know what they are referring to with the R-word.
      Just like people won’t stop knowing what “A” stands for in Lady A.

    • Guest with Cat says:

      Well clearly the “A” now stands for arrogant. Or Asshat. Either will work.

      I just listened to some REAL Lady A. I only know “Need You Now” from Lady Arrogant, because the other songs from their albums did absolutely nothing for me. I did really like “Need You Now”.

      The real Lady A is a much better artist. I like country and blues. In my opinion Lady A is a better blues artist than Lady Arrogant are as country artists. I am not just saying that because I am really appalled how they are handling this whole situation. The Real Lady A has presence. How crooked is the music business that she is not the more famous one?

  19. MsIam says:

    I don’t think it’s that big a deal honestly. The two sides couldn’t come to an agreement and now the court will decide. The original Lady A has a case, it’s a question of how much money she should be compensated for because she won’t be able to perform under that name. And they could still settle before it goes to court. Or the band could decide to use another name and drop the case completely.

    • Sarah says:

      It’s a very big deal when powerful white people co-opt the name of a Black artist (who does not have equal resources to fight back) to appear less racist. This is not a simple legal matter.

      • MsIam says:

        If that were the case @Sarah, then why is the original Lady A asking for money? It’s not like she isn’t willing to give up the name, she wants to be paid and she should. Allegedly she wanted 10 million dollars and the band refused. It’s not like she is standing on some principal, it’s about money. And I’m sure she has a lawyer who is seeing dollar signs too. Look, I agree she has a good case and maybe they offered some ridiculously low amount. But she will get paid, no doubt.

      • AppleTartin says:

        @MsIam you are just falling for the label and bands narrative this is just a money grab. Do some research to find out what her reason was. It was a ridiculous amount symbolically. They are trying to make her disappear and have no rights to her own name.

      • Sarah says:

        That’s exactly my point. They should PAY her, and well. Not just for the use of the name but for steam rolling right over her, a Black woman, in 2020, during a huge surge is support for BLM. That’s the principal you think is lacking. Search “Lady A” on Spotify and the top results are not Anita. They should have reached out *first* or even better, picked a new damn name. To say it’s not a big deal is trivializing the matter and ignoring the racial aspect, which is allegedly why Antebellum made this stupid change.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      She should be able to perform under that name. The band will still succeed under a different name; she needs the name more than they do.

    • Emmitt says:

      The reason she wanted $10 million is because Lady Antebellum wanted her to sign the rights to her name away. She has every right to expect that amount since Lady Antebellum will be making much more than the $10 million she’s asking for.

    • KW says:

      i disagree with you. they changed their name to appear less racist, now they are trying to bully a black woman in to stop using a name she has been using for years because their lawyers were either too lazy or too entitled to maybe think on this a bit harder. it is disgusting and i hope the OG lady A gets to keep her name, gets money for mental anguish AND this shitty country band basically turns to dust. they should change their name to the 3 stooges.

  20. AnnaKist says:

    Come on, a bit of fair play, please. Leave Lady A alone. The title obviously refers to her given name, and she has been using “Lady A” professionally for many years. She had it first. Tough titties for the band. Just go with Lady Antibellum. One letter. Sorted.

  21. Darla says:

    Lady Karen! omg I am cracking up, that is so perfect.

    This is the most tone deaf act of white stupidity I have read about this week. I am sure it will soon be topped, but my god.

  22. Feedmechips says:

    Hoooo boy, this is not a good look.

  23. Christin says:

    No background in trademark law, but I did work on trademark applications with an older attorney who handled a large company’s trademark applications and issues for many years. We had new trademarks to pursue, and a product name we had used for years was disputed.

    Based on those limited experiences with the process, the trademark application is published in a federal journal so that any objections can be filed. It is doubtful the singer would have an attorney reading the journal every quarter. I would think the singer could argue the band and their attorney apparently did not perform basic due diligence by simply searching online for existing usage of the name they wanted to trademark in 2010, especially for usage in the same (music) industry. That was one of the first steps we did when tossing around possible names to trademark.

  24. AppleTartin says:

    I find it extremely gross they couch all of this with her acting like a money grab. The white saviors were going to “collab” with her if she gave up all rights to the name. To disappear.

    She doesn’t need them to do a song on her album or do a single. So she asked for 5 million for her and 5 million for the Black Lives Matter movement. They are stealing her legacy. They should pay!

    Sadly, the fans won’t care since their base is so huge. And the trademark is a tricky issue since they have had it for 10 years. But morally, this is just really bad. Regardless they aren’t asking for money from her. But she still has to hire a lawyer and they will bury her in legal fees until she breaks. The label has all day to file legal moves at no personal cost to the band.

    • MaryContrary says:

      Agree with you 100 percent.

      • MaryPeach says:

        It says that the band APPLIED for the trademark in 2010. It doesn’t say that the band has held the trademark since 2010. My guess would be that it is a dead (inactive) request. That’s a big difference.

      • Liane says:

        Ooo! MaryPeach, you got me wondering, so I checked out the USPTO and the wordmark for “Lady A” was applied for on June 9, 2020!! Huh! Maybe they did apply 10 years ago, but if they’ve applied again, then that one was denied or it lapsed. http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4805:mygeno.2.5

    • AppleTartin says:

      @MaryPeach they hold the trademark. Doesn’t mean Lady A doesn’t have rights. The whole thing is messy. The band is just protecting themselves by trying to steamroll over her.

      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/lady-antebellum-lawsuit-lady-a_n_5f065102c5b63a72c33cbe7d

    • Prayer Warrior says:

      Looking for a ‘go fund me’ page if Lady A needs help. This is how white folks can become allies; we must not allow The Original Lady A to be steamrolled because the white folks’ label (huge deep pockets which won’t touch band members personally) is suing.

      She had it first, for a loooong time 20+ years. Yes, I’ll put my money where my mouth is and support her with my Canadian dollars because what’s happening here is WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE WORLD and we have a chance to do better and be better and ‘Antibellam’ works or they can go in a whole new re-branding direction without too much problems. Not so for a one-woman gig

      • NoWords says:

        If you find one pls link it! On a fundamental and principle level what they are doing is morally bankrupt. No excuses. They can find a new name.

      • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

        We can also call Lady Asshats’ label and complain. It’s BMLG Records and located in Nashville.

  25. Boomboom says:

    Lady Antibellum

    There, I solved it.

    • Mia says:

      I like it! I was going to suggest Lady Belladonna, but apparently, that name is also already taken.

  26. Lily says:

    I say call yourself Lady B and call it a day! Leave the real Lady A alone. Reminder: there are 25 other letters in the alphabet and other genders to identify yourself with. Dont be d*cks

  27. Priscila Bezerra-Fischer says:

    They are ugly and their clothes are hideous- no wonder they go around suing people.

  28. Jerusha says:

    They could change their name to We’re Just Another Generic Crappy Band. I don’t think anyone’s using that although lots of groups should.

    • Christin says:

      I am trying to come up with something about the lead singer’s mom and Reba’s red dress. “My Mom Got Upstaged By Reba’s Red Dress and Now I’ve Got A Band”? Maybe it’s too much? How about the Red Dress Tribute Band?

      I think of that awards show and song performance every time I hear or see this band.

  29. Sarah says:

    Listen to the REAL, the one and only, Lady A. She’s on Spotify and she’s spectacular.

    • lucy2 says:

      She’s got a bunch of videos on her website, she’s got a great bluesy voice.
      Follow her social media, watch her videos, buy her music if you like it!

  30. MellyMel says:

    The white privilege is strong with this one! I really was applauding them for changing their name, but now…y’all should have just kept it. Pay the original Lady A or let it go.

  31. peach says:

    Trademark law is complicated, but that’s not the problem here. Changing the name to “Lady A” is truly pointless…the “A” still stands for Antebellum, so the sentiment is still there. If they really wanted to break with that, they should come up with an entirely new name. They just made a knee jerk decision to try to appear “woke”, and since they aren’t actually “woke” at all, they don’t know how bad this is.

  32. Jenilee says:

    White people. ‘I’m going to change my band name to appear woke and then sue the black artist who already has the stage name I want.’ Who even listens to the Antebellum Band?

  33. Nev says:

    First Kaiser.
    Lady Karen?!!!!!!!
    I can’t with you. Genius.
    They have a nerve.

  34. Case says:

    Even if they do have sound legal reasons for pursuing this, the optics are horrendous. They change their name to sound less racist, and now they’re going after a Black artist using the same name?

    I don’t understand the legalities of this and maybe there is some merit to what they’re pursuing. Maybe they just couldn’t come to the agreement they originally thought could happen. From the outside, though, it looks like they’re mad that she didn’t give up what they wanted.

  35. Jodi says:

    I am not disagreeing that the optics on this are NOT GOOD. at all. but these are the facts as i understand them based on the actual filing:

    - the Band Lady A filed an official trademark in 2010 for use of the name for live performances etc. a few years later, they filed officially for use of the name for merchandise and promotional items

    - the signer Lady A hasn’t ever filed an official trademark request to use that name and never disputed any official filing made by the band starting back in 2010

    - when they made their public statement, they started conversations with the singer “Lady A” to align on how they would both be able to use this name going forward and they started talking about collaborating musically.

    - singer Lady A began to have doubts (which i can understand being black woman with a smaller platform working with a very successful white band) and hired new council who came back with a 10 million dollar demand in order for the band Lady A to use the name

    - Lady A the band is now using the courts to get an agreement on how this should move forward since they seem to be at a stalemate with private conversations

    all in all, this is messy and it sucks.

    • Kate says:

      “when they made their public statement, they started conversations with the singer “Lady A” to align on how they would both be able to use this name going forward and they started talking about collaborating musically.”

      Here is where it should have stopped being messy. She said nah you can’t have my name unless you pay me this extreme amount of money. They go find another name. File another routine trademark application for this new name using the lawyers their label has on staff. They are unnecessarily pushing this ahead because they feel entitled to have what they want.

      • lucy2 says:

        This exactly. When she declined to share it (why should she have to!) they should have said OK, we’ll change it to something else. Pursuing it further, and dragging a musician into a legal battle is gross – especially one who likely doesn’t have millions and a huge legal team and is also likely suffering right now from not being able to perform live.

      • Jodi says:

        agreed!

      • sassafras says:

        Okay, but why should they have to change it to something else? The band was actually called that a lot and had a legal claim to it. It sucks and it’s messy and it’s all a product of the suckiness of systemic racism and capitalistic patriarchy but no one should have been forced to do anything here.

      • Nic919 says:

        That’s exactly it just find another name. She’s used it years before this band existed and they didn’t do their due diligence when the name that they only started using now when they realized how racist their original name was in the first place.

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      But Lady A sold records under that name. So, the songs were trademarked under her performing name Lady A. These songs predate the Lady Antebellum trademark.

  36. paddingtonjr says:

    So either they didn’t do the basic research anyone starting a business would do or thought no one would notice. Legalities aside, the band doesn’t look good on many levels. As a country/pop band from the South, they would know the implications of “antebellum” and most likely knew (or should have known) the image/era it would evoke. Growing up in Georgia, we were very aware of “antebellum” homes, era, etc., and were aware it was not referring to pre any war other than the Civil War and a certain way of life.

    At the very least, Lady Antebellum seems to acknowledge that Lady A’s name has some value, since they have entered into negotiations for her to sign away her name, and they are just balking at the amount Lady A wants.

  37. Mrs. Smith says:

    The band/label should pay the real Lady A the $$$ AND both use the name AND do a collaboration. Everyone wins! Seriously—a mere $10M is enough to take this woman to court?? That is such a small amount it’s laughable. I guess this band really is that stupid.

    • sarah says:

      Is $10 million a small amount?! Seems like quite a lot of money to me, but I don’t know how successful the band is.

  38. Desdemona says:

    Why do they have to call themselves Lady A.?
    Ok, so antebellum had a racist meaning in the US (I had no idea, since I’m not american and english is a foreign language to me, too many words throughout the different countries for me to know them all. Besides, for me antebellum is a latin word that means “before the war” —- ant – anterior to/ prior to ; bellum – the origin of the word belico in Spanish, portuguese, etc… hence the existance of the word bellicose in English)…

    Change to a totally different name, who cares???

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      We use the Latin meaning here as well- it’s just that to some Southerners there was only *one* war, and neither the heroism of WWII nor the glories of our Revolution seem to count for them- because they are too busy living in their multi-generational fits of narcissistic rage.

  39. 10KTurtle says:

    Do other bands trademark their names? I never really thought about it, but is that why we don’t often have multiple bands with the same name? It seems to me that there should be some financial compensation for Lady A because Lady Antebellum will take over all the top google results and she will lose online exposure.
    Also… sheesh, what a dick move by Lady Antebellum.

  40. Lily says:

    I have to comment again this is too much. So the group in a antiracist attempt wants to get rid of Antebellum because it’s racially charged, choses to be Lady A and blackmails by lawsuit threats a black artist named Lady A since years. Is Lady Antebellum stupid?
    I can’t get over it. Lady K is the by far, the best name for this group. lol

  41. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Lady Avaricious
    Lady Arrogance
    Lady Aggravate
    Lady Asshat

  42. No Doubt says:

    What they are doing is completely defeating the purpose of why they wanted to change their band name in the first place. Pick another name.

  43. Valiantly Varnished says:

    You have to be a heap of flaming hot trash to name your band Antebellum in the first place. Their name change was for optics and this proves that point. I hope they are laughed out of court. And honestly? How utterly dumb of them to release a name change without checking to see if it’s already been taken.

  44. Lily says:

    Me again. This is not going to end well for Lady antebellum, I hope they and their people can read the room. They’re getting cancelled 3,2,1…

  45. cisne says:

    lol! Lady Karen😝🤣

  46. Lunasf17 says:

    Ugh, I definitely don’t feel bad for making fun of Lady Antebellum when they did that over the top name change announcement. It felt so dumb and performative. Since they are clearly very different acts maybe they can both use it but they pay the original Lady A some real money? This happens a Lot with bands but most don’t get this big so it’s never really an issue.

  47. E'Nough says:

    You are total sheep. Way to give a black woman her voice.

    KAREN.

  48. SaveTheBees says:

    Take a breath everyone. Lawsuits are started most times because parties can’t come to an agreement on their own, which seems to be the case here. From what I read, the blues singer wanted $10 million to let the band use the name, which if true, is really excessive. Both parties have been using the name already because the band was commonly called Lady A. So, if there is no trademark registered (and it seems like there isn’t), they both have a claim for it. Since they had a meeting and it didn’t work, they are now going to need a neutral arbiter, i.e., the court, decide what payment is fair, how the name can be used, etc. This happens all the time. For example, major chain stores have sued itty bitty mom and pop shops for trademark infringement over the name of their itty bitty store, and it has sometimes worked out that the mom and pop can use the name, but only in their immediate area where they are known. If they get bigger and expand nationally, then no, you need to come up with something new. So, things get worked out all the time, but since it is law that has to be applied, a lawsuit is the way you bring in a decision based on law.

    It actually could work out a lot better for the singer, she may end up with a decent settlement and continue to use the name and do what she’s been doing all along. I think since the band is so commonly referred to as Lady A by their fans, that is why they are going with that name. I think if that had not been the case, they would probably have picked another name, especially since someone else was already using their nickname. While it looks like Goliath beating up on David, in the long run, it could work out better for the singer (although lawyers are expensive) bringing in a trademark lawyer to advise her of her rights and work out a good settlement. My bet is they both will be able to use the name and the band will pay the singer some amount of money to co-exist.

    • S2 says:

      Meh…Yes, their lawyer will say $10 million is a ridiculous amount of money, while spending hundreds of thousands or more keeping her lawyer busy responding to motions, in hopes she waves the white flag as the far less wealthy party unable to afford continued litigation. Lady A-the band hoping for a bargain basement settlement, instead of taking responsibility for making a poorly-researched announcement that conflicted with an established artist.

      Lady A-band has sold more than 12 million albums and has a back catalog already worth between $50-$90 million, according to a few articles. Asking for a lump sum $10 million for release of the name in perpetuity not actually out of the realm of reality, especially when you take into account there’s considerable evidence that the Lady A-band will continue to increase in profitability AND that if it came to actual court they’d likely lose since her use of the name pre and post-dates theirs without previous legal challenge.

    • sassafras says:

      Thank you. I feel like the lawyers are seeing this differently. In trademark, it’s also all about *trademark protection.* The lawsuits can help both parties whittle out the rules so that going forward they all have boundaries and have their ip protected.

      But I 100% agree that this is not good optics to say the least. I think it’s a symptom of our patriarchal capitalist zero-sum game society. We have a system where if one person has it, the other person has to pay for it, instead of something that benefits the collective. I can’t judge either party by playing by those rules because they’re the ones we have. It’s systemic racism when certain people, by virtue of their race, do not have equal access to these capitalist structures (trademarks, lawyers, etc.) Because of that, if I were the Band Lady A, I would immediately request arbitration and offer to pay Singer Lady A’s legal fees in order the level the playing field and grant everyone access.

    • Amy Too says:

      It makes sense legally and in a business sense, and if they were a new band who wanted to be Lady A or if there were 2 Lady A’s (officially named Lady A by their own choosing, not by their fans nicknaming them) who had just found out about each other, this this would be the logical, legal, business like way of figuring out what to do and how to share the name for the benefit of everyone. BUT Lady Antebellum specifically wants to be start using Lady A formally because they think it looks/sounds less racist and would not be offensive to their POC fans. They want to be less racist. But then turning around and suing a black woman artist with significantly less resources than the band, immediately contradicts their stated goal of being less racist and not offending POC.

      If they truly made the decision to change their band’s name because they did not want to be/look/sound racist, then why are they doing this thing that makes them look and sound racist? Why are they using the American legal system (a systematically racist institution) to arbitrate? The courts MIGHT rule favorably towards Lady A the singer, but they might not. And Lady A the singer has already told the band what would be a fair and acceptable solution for her: a $10 million payment in exchange for the use of her name. But the band has decided that Lady A doesn’t actually know what she wants or what should be considered fair/acceptable and they’re insisting on using the racist American legal system to determine what would be fair/acceptable. Despite Lady A already telling the band what would be fair/acceptable to her. And they’re doing this all so they DON’T look/sound racist or offend any of their POC fans?

      Their actions prove that their motivations were entirely disingenuous. Sometimes, probably most times, the anti-racist thing to do is not necessarily the same thing as what the American legal system determines is the “fair and legal” thing to do. So of course this is the technically legal way to come to a legally binding solution, but it’s also a racist and offensive thing to do. That’s what’s making them look so bad and hypocritical.

      It’s not just a run of the mill trademark dispute, it’s a trademark dispute that they knowingly forced on a black artist when they didn’t have to, and they’re doing it for spurious reasons.

  49. S2 says:

    Feels like they did about as much research before their big “soul-searching” name change as they did before picking their original Dixie moniker.

    How no one in their all-white band doesn’t get that the optics on suing an established African-American performer to secure rights to a name they supposedly changed in deference to the Black Lives Matter movement, aren’t just bad, but horrific, is mind-blowing. Maybe it’s like how they pretended they didn’t understand the connotation of “antebellum” until a few weeks ago.

    Lady A-band may have paperwork that says they own that name, but unless you vigorously protect and defend a copyright FROM THE GET-GO, it’s not enforceable. Lady A, the blues artist, has released albums under that name that, I believe, both pre-and post-date Lady A band’s claim, and this is the first time Lady A-band has tried to enforce it. Meaning: They’re unlikely to win an outright court battle, but as the far bigger act, could essentially wear the lesser-known artist down in court by drowning them in fees, which is, I’m sure, their lawyers’ plan. How very woke and enlightened of them.

  50. HeyThere! says:

    Honestly this is ridiculous….especially given the WHOLE REASON they are changing their name. So now, they are stealing a black ladies name that she had been singing under for YEARS. I can’t with them. This is so ridiculous it seems made up. I’m over the cancel culture but dude, they are over for me.

  51. Liz version 700 says:

    The optics are terrible here, and I feel like the people might be showing themselves as terrible here.

  52. YAS says:

    Them changing their name was welcome, but this action shows it was performative wokeness. Just keep the name what it is – it’s a transparent representation of their white supremacist mindset.

  53. Happy cat angry cat says:

    This is so tone deaf. I highly doubt that the large team they have didn’t do a basic search first to discover the real Lady A. I suspect that they knew about her, but figured they were bigger and “more important” and could bulldoze her into getting what they want. Even if they really didn’t know about her, the latter of my point stands…they felt entitled and powerful to push to get what they wanted. Which, to me, makes it even more disgusting.

  54. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    This is going to turn into the McLibel case all over again, with just as bad an outcome for ‘LadyA(ntebellum)’ as McDonalds. If they want to maintain a shred of dignity, they have to •not• sue the lady of colour because they want to choose a band name that doesn’t reflect discrimination against, er, colour…

  55. Lizzie says:

    How about Lady Asshats.

  56. Jaxonmeh says:

    So. I’m thinking the A in Lady A for the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum really stands for the “Audacity.” Are you freaking kidding? They’re getting added to the list of singers/bands I flip stations on when I hear them from now on. And apparently I need to check out the original Lady A.

  57. Züri says:

    Amending their name to “Lady A” never took away what that “A” actually stands for, something they’re proving with their ridiculous actions vis a vis the singer Lady A. Had they actually been genuine in their sentiments about changing the culture, they would have found an entirely different name. I don’t like their music and like it even less at this stage.

  58. Truthiness says:

    The original Lady A should have superior rights. Source: IP law prof ex

  59. Jane wilson says:

    Ante bellum is a latin term meaning “before war” – the war in question came to be understood pretty much universally as the Civil War.
    So they could be Lady P (for “post bellum” – “after war”) or Lady Peace (if that’s available) to symbolize the distance the US has traveled since the Civil War.
    (Though the way the band has behaved, they probably don’t deserve “Lady Peace”.

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      Or the clever suggestion mentioned above by Annakist and BoomBoom: Lady Antibellum- could loosely translate to against war.