Country trio Lady Antebellum is changing its name to disassociate itself from racial undertones linked to slavery.
The group — which consists of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood — will now be known as simply Lady A, which is what many fans have been calling the group for more than a decade.
"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," the group said in a lengthy statement released on Thursday.
"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," the statement continued.
The Grammy-winning group, who've been together for 14 years, said the band was initially named after an "antebellum" style home in the south.
"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. 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," the statement said. "We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. Causing pain was never our hearts' intention, but it doesn't change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change."
Earlier this year, Lady A — then going by their original name — recorded their 10th No. 1 single: "What If I Never Get Over You." In 2019, the group wrapped up a successful Las Vegas residency show at the Palms. As Lady A, the trio plans to "practice antiracism."
"We feel like we have been Awakened, but this is just one step. There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better," the statement said. "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 & generations to come."