UNITED STATES—On June 11, Lady Antebellum announced that it will be changing the name of its band to Lady A due to the Antebellum Period’s association with slavery.
Lady Antebellum is a country-pop group known for their songs “Need You Know” and “Just A Kiss.” Members of the band include lead vocalists Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. The group has won seven Grammy Awards, and five of its seven albums have topped Billboard’s Country Albums chart.
“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,” the band said. “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.”
In American history, the Antebellum Period is characterized by the gradual polarization between abolitionists and supporters of slavery, which was geographically evident in the divide between the north and the south. The South was known for supporting slavery as their cotton plantations were dependent on slave labor.
The band apologized for its “lateness to this realization,” stating there is “no excuse.”
“Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that,” they wrote. “So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.”
The band announced that its next step will be to donate to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID.
Their full statement can be viewed here.