Anita ‘Lady A’ White says she is “not going to be erased” after the country band, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, changed their name to “Lady A” and filed a lawsuit against her.
White has been performing under the name Lady A since 1987 and is now entangled in the center of a lawsuit with the band Lady A composed of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and David Haywood.
“I think they always knew what they were gonna do,” White tells Vulture in an interview published Thursday. “I was quiet for two weeks because I was trying to believe that it was going to be okay and that they would realize that it would be easier to just change their name, or pay me for my name.”
“Five million dollars is nothing, and I’m actually worth more than that, regardless of what they think,” she states. “But here we go again with another white person trying to take something from a Black person, even though they say they’re trying to help. If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing. And that might require you to give up something because I am not going to be erased.”
The Lady A band changed their name on June 11 to honor the Black Lives Matter movement since the word “antebellum” has ties in American history to racism and slavery. The band reached out to White last month and reportedly had productive conversations about both continuing to use the name until White’s new counsel “delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand.” The group shared with ET that the monetary demand was $10 million.
When asked about this demand, White responded that it was a request for the necessary resources to support herself and the Black community. She had planned to use $5 million to rebrand and start over as an artist and donate the other $5 million to charities, including those that provide support to other independent Black artists.
“You don’t get to just come and take because you have that privilege,” White shared with Vulture. “We don’t have that luxury or that privilege, so we need somebody to help us and lift us up.”