In June, as the national conversation about racial justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing pushed many groups and organizations to examine the racial connotations of their brands, the country music group Lady Antebellum announced they were changing their name to “Lady A” to remove reference to the slavery period of Southern history.
There was just one problem: an African-American blues singer in Seattle, Anita White, already went by that name. Now, according to Pitchfork, the band is going to court for the right to use the trademark.
“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” said the band in a statement. “She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.”
Previously, the band had suggested they had come to a deal over the conflict. But White disputed this, telling Newsday, “I’m not happy about [it] yet again after talking in good faith. … Their camp is trying to erase me and I’ll have more to say tomorrow. Trust is important and I no longer trust them.”