In an appearance on PEOPLE (the TV Show!), Lady A spoke out about the name change they underwent over a year ago.
Originally named Lady Antebellum, the band made the change to Lady A in June 2020, during the height of racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter Movement, after many related the term to owners of enslaved people.
“The murder of George Floyd brought so much of it to our attention and just talking to our friends, we knew through history class what the word antebellum meant, but understanding what it implied, what it made people feel—we had never asked,” Scott during the interview. “And so when we did, we realized unanimously that this word is offensive.”
“After a while, when you start hearing some of these comments, you’re like, ‘Whoa, I don’t want people to think that about us,'” Kelley added.
The band, comprised of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood, made the announcement of the name change on their social media accounts.
Dear fans… pic.twitter.com/7JlcH2NMl6— Lady A (@ladya) June 11, 2020
“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.”
Nowadays, the trio is moving full steam ahead with the release of their eighth studio album, What A Song Can Do, in October. This past summer, Lady A was able to return to the road and start connecting with their audience during their tour.
“We were planning on going on the road for our previous record, Ocean,” Kelley told American Songwriter. “The minute this pandemic began for us was when that tour was cancelled—that’s when it was like, “Wow, this is real.” I think at the time, we had been thinking, “Okay, this won’t last but a month or two.” Then it was like, “Oh no… this is going to stay awhile.” We tried to push the tour back, but eventually, we just had to call it off.”
Added Scott, “We had to pivot from so many plans last year… to be able to say that we’ve completed a successful tour and got to see so many fans, that we have new music that’s out in the world… we’re very grateful. After so many months of feeling unsure about the timeline of our lives, we’re just very thankful and excited to be back to doing what we love.”