Lady Antebellum has changed its name to Lady A. The Grammy Award-winning country trio posted a heartfelt message to social media on Thursday (June 11), explaining its realization that “Antebellum” is a reference to slavery in America.
The group, known best for 2009 crossover hit “Need You Now,” as well as more recent No. 1 country ballad “What If I Never Get Over You,” shared a lengthy apology with fans. “We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused,” Lady A say of the term “Antebellum.”
“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 band, made up of Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott, said in a statement. “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. As musicians, 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,” Lady A continued. “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 band continue to explain that while it realizes changing its name “is just one step,” there is more to be done. The country trio has promised to donate to the Equal Justice Initiative and to be better allies to those suffering from injustice.