‘Hon­est con­ver­sa­tions’ lead to name change for Lady A

Calgary Herald - - YOU - EMILY YAHR

Lady An­te­bel­lum, the Grammy-win­ning coun­try mu­sic trio be­hind one of the high­est-sell­ing coun­try songs of all time, is drop­ping the “an­te­bel­lum.”

Charles Kel­ley, Hil­lary Scott and Dave Hay­wood re­leased a state­ment on so­cial me­dia Thurs­day and said while the band’s name orig­i­nated from the South­ern “an­te­bel­lum”-style homes where they took some of their first pho­tos as a band, they are now “re­gret­ful and em­bar­rassed to say that we did not take into ac­count the as­so­ci­a­tions to the pe­riod of his­tory be­fore the Civil War, which in­cludes slav­ery.”

With the na­tional reck­on­ing over the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment, the group re­con­sid­ered the im­pli­ca­tions be­hind the phrase.

“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 con­tin­ued to face ev­ery day. Now, blind spots we didn’t even know ex­isted have been re­vealed,” they wrote.

“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.”

“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.”

The group has been called out many times in the past for a name as­so­ci­ated with the An­te­bel­lum South, the pe­riod of time be­fore the Civil War when Black peo­ple were en­slaved. They said in their state­ment that when they came up with the name, “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 ... We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for any­one who has felt un­safe, un­seen or un­val­ued.”

The Wash­ing­ton Post

CHARLES PUL­LIAM/REUTERS

Af­ter con­sid­er­ing the racial im­pli­ca­tions of their band’s name, mem­bers Dave Hay­wood, left, Hil­lary Scott and Charles Kel­ley changed it to Lady A.

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