Award-winnkng country band Lady Antebellum is changing its name to Lady A, with members saying they are ‘regretful and embarrassed’ for not taking into consideration the word’s association with slavery.
The band, made up of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, made the announcement Thursday on their social media.
The statement said their name was inspired by the antebellum-style home where they shot their first band photos, and it reminded them of Southern styles of music.
The ‘antebellum south’ refers to the pre-Civil War period in the Southern United States between 1830-1860 when slavery was practiced.
The band, who has used the name since 2006, said the past few weeks have opened their eyes to ‘blindspots we didn’t even know existed’ and the racial injustices that still exist today.
‘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”. 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. 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.’
In what appeared to be in reference to the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd and the ensuing race protests, the band said they have ‘watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks.’
‘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 every day.’
The group – formed in Nashville, Tennessee- stated that the change of band name was their way of a commitment 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.’