The band released a statement on Thursday, announcing the name change.
Country group Lady Antebellum is changing its name in order to get rid of its associations with slavery and the Civil War. The band will now be called Lady A, which is the nickname fans have used for years.
The group, which is compromised of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelly, and Dave Haywood, announced on Thursday that they're "deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued."
"Antebellum" means "before a war," and it's associated with a period of time in the southern United States before the Civil War, when slavery was legal.
Read the full statement from the band below:
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.
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.
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. 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.
We understand that many of you may ask the question “Why have you not made this change until now?” The answer is that we can make no excuse for our lateness to this realization. What we can do is acknowledge it, turn from it and take action.
We feel like we have been Awakened, but this is just one step. There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better. We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism. We will continue to educate ourselves, have hard conversations and search the parts of our hearts that need pruning—to grow into better humans, better neighbors. Our next outward step will be a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID. Our prayer is that if we lead by example…with humility, love, empathy and action…we can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices, while influencing our children and generations to come.
Hillary, Charles & Dave
PS - This is a work in progress so thank you for being patient with us while we work to make these changes.
The band's first self-titled album came out back in 2008, and since then, they've gone on to win seven Grammy Awards as well as several Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards.
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