The country band Lady A — previously Lady Antebellum — is opening up about their decision to change their moniker.
The Grammy-winning group, which is comprised of members, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, recently appeared on the syndicated “Tamron Hall Show” where they discussed the move that was made over the summer amid the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The heart of our decision still rings true today as much as it did back in June when we made this announcement,” Scott, 34, told Hall on Friday when asked about some of the criticism the trio faced when they revealed the news.
She continued: “I mean we want our music, and our live shows and, you know, anything that we’re a part of, for everyone to feel welcome and invited. And we realized, you know, over the summer I think not touring and watching just this movement happen that is so needed in this country and around the world, we started to see what our part was, what part of our first steps and making a difference could be.”
Scott noted that changing their name “was the first step,” however, “you never know how things are going to happen and we never saw that coming.”
In June, it was revealed on Twitter that the group had changed its name to Lady A. At the time, the members said that the decision came “after much personal reflection” and conversations with “closest black friends” as Antebellum refers to a period of time “which includes slavery.”
The statement said that they initially chose the name after the antebellum-style home where they shot their first band photos, and it reminded them of Southern styles of music.
In the virtual interview with Hall, 50, Haywood further explained the choice for the new name.
“I think the experience began with so many conversations with friends of color,” the 38-year-old shared. “We employ several Black people, we spoke to a lot of Black people, in and out of the industry. And our goal was to find out the heart behind what ‘Antebellum’ could bring up for some, and unanimously, it brought up hardship.”
Haywood stated that the move was a “simple” one to make since they had been going by the shortened Lady A since 2006.
“And I was just going through my journal the other day and, man, the common denominator with all of my conversations with my friends of color was, ‘Let’s please keep having this conversation y’all. Let’s keep talking about this. Let’s make some long term commitments to this,’ which we decided to do with our organization, Lady Aid, to support some HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and underprivileged communities. So it was not the end, it was the beginning for us,” he stated.
During the initial announcement, the band members said in their statement that they are regretful and embarrassed for not taking into consideration the word’s associations with slavery. They added that their eyes had been opened to “blindspots we didn’t even know existed” and “the injustices, inequality and biases black women and men have always faced.”
Kelley reiterated on Friday how the term “blind-spot” has really resonated with him the “most” in 2020.
“And I think I am so guilty of…I didn’t think about it,” he expressed. “You know, we came up with the name thinking about the Antebellum home…I don’t know it’s so naive now looking back, but I think, as we’ve grown up, we all have kids now. I mean why now?”
“Well, we’re a lot older, we look at the world a lot different,” Kelley explained. “You know we’re trying to leave the world a little bit better too for our kids and the next generation. And we want to be a part of change.”
The 39-year-old acknowledged that the band knew it was “going to be difficult.”
“We knew we were going to alienate a lot of fans, you know we didn’t see some of these other things coming, but it hasn’t changed how we’ve tried. We’re trying to resolve this issue with Anita and we’re really trying to be a light out there for everybody,” he added, referencing Seattle-based blues singer Anita “Lady A” White who has been using the name for two decades and is suing the group.
“And we know it’s going to be tough, it’s a very divisive issue, but it shouldn’t be a divisive issue, it’s just about love.”