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Country trio Lady A meets with blues singer Lady A to iron out name-change dispute

Dave Haywood, left, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley recently changed their band's name from Lady Antebellum to Lady A.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

Lady A, meet Lady A.

The country trio formerly known as Lady Antebellum connected Monday with blues singer Lady A, who recently called out the new Lady A for adopting the stage name she’s performed under for decades. The original Lady A, also known as Anita White, blasted the band last week for using the moniker without reaching out to her first.

“Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A,” Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum) shared Monday on social media, along with a screenshot of a video call with White. “Transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had. We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope. More to come.”

Though the group did not announce any plans to rebrand again, White told Rolling Stone earlier this month that she was “not about to stop” going by Lady A. White has released multiple albums under the name; her latest, “Lady A: Live in New Orleans,” is scheduled for next month.

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“Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done,” White said last week. “This is too much right now. They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time. If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before. It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it.”

Blues singer Lady A.
(Dawn Lucrisia-Johnson)

Musicians Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley of the new Lady A officially dropped the Lady Antebellum title on June 11 in an effort to dissociate themselves from the pre-Civil War era defined by racism and slavery.

“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,” the group wrote in a message posted on social media at the time. “As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the South that influenced us. …

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“But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word,” the trio said, acknowledging the central role of slavery during the period.

On Tuesday morning, White also posted the screenshot from the Lady A video call on Twitter with a hopeful caption.

“God is good and Communication is key,” she wrote. “So glad to speak with ... these amazing young people. Together Change is possible in this world.”

Amid nationwide protests against racism, the country group Lady Antebellum announced that it was dropping a word associated with slavery from its name.

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