Lady A Settle Lawsuit Over Name Change

Country band Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, has settled a lawsuit with Seattle blues singer Anita White who had claimed she had long used the shortened name.

The country trio and Anita filed a motion in Nashville federal court seeking dismissal of their lawsuits permanently. The terms of the agreement the parties have reached have not been made public.

Lady Antebellum switched to Lady A in June 2020 in the wake of protests against racism and police violence, citing criticism that the name glorified the slavery-era South. The band said the name had not been intended as racist, but that they had had their “eyes opened” by recent events.

White claimed she had used the name Lady A since the 1980s, performing thousands of times at concerts and festivals across the country. She called the band’s adoption of her long-standing name an example of “pure privilege.”

The band sued White after she rebuffed early requests for a settlement that both groups could use the name. The country band argued it had used the abbreviation as a nickname for years and “simply wish that the parties continue to coexist.”

White then filed a countersuit accusing the band of trademark infringement, claiming it the name change had been “undertaken with willful disregard for Ms. White’s rights.”

“The effect of the name change on Ms. White’s ability to distinguish her music in the marketplace was overwhelming,” White wrote. “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.”

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