Lady Antebellum has officially changed its name to Lady A.
The country music group shared a statement with fans on Twitter Thursday announcing that the band’s name would no longer include the word “antebellum” in response to the ongoing discussions around the world on racial inequality after the police killing of George Floyd.
“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,” the band’s statement said.
“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.”
The statement explained that the word “antebellum” was chosen because 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,” the band sai.
“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.”
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines antebellum as “existing before a war; especially: existing before the American Civil War.”
The band now known as Lady A also shared that it will make a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative through its LadyAID charity fund.
“We can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices, while influencing our children and generations to come,” the statement concluded.