Lady Antebellum have held a private conference with the blues singer Lady A whose moniker they replaced their band name with.
The country group – comprised of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood – recently announced their plans to drop part of their name to instead go by Lady A, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The word Antebellum has associations to slavery in the US, and the band said they ultimately opted to make the change after "much personal reflection".
In a statement shared to social media, the ‘Need You Now’ hitmakers wrote: "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."
The band had upset Lady A with the move, though it appears they have come to an agreement after having a "private discussion" on the matter.
Lady A – whose real name is Anita White – had said: "This is my life. Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done.
"This is too much right now. They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time. If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before.
"It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realise that their name had a slave reference to it.
"It’s an opportunity for them to pretend they’re not racist or pretend this means something to them."
A rep for the group had stated that "the band was not aware of the other artist and plans to reach out to her."
And they did just that.
On Monday (15.06.20), they revealed on Instagram: "Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A. Transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had.
"We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope. More to come."
The band originally chose to name themselves Lady Antebellum because of the southern style that "influenced" their music, but admitted they felt "regretful and embarrassed" by the word choice.
They added in their original 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."
They also apologised for any "hurt" they may have caused.
The trio admitted: "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."