Seattle blues and gospel singer Lady A and the Nashville country music trio now also using that name began their Monday meeting — an attempt to resolve their differences — with a prayer.
White objected to country group Lady Antebellum’s changing its name last week to Lady A — White’s stage name of several decades — but met with the group via video conference in what she called “an amazing meeting.”
“We all want everyone to know that this meeting artist to artist was productive, meaningful, heartfelt,” White wrote in an email to The Seattle Times Monday night. “Any time you can start a meeting with prayer is a good meeting for me. Now we move forward with more to come.”
The problem started last Thursday when Lady Antebellum announced it was shortening its name to Lady A, saying on social media that in recent weeks, their eyes have been opened to “the injustices, inequality and biases black women and men have always faced.”
Critics have long questioned the trio’s name because the Latin “ante bellum” translates to “before the war,” a reference to the pre-Civil War South when slavery was still legal.
White responded Friday, telling Rolling Stone that the band had not reached out to her first about the name change and finding it ironic that, in changing its name in light of the Black Lives Matter protest, the group was taking a name used by a Black artist for more than 20 years.
By Monday, social media posts by both White and the Nashville trio — which consists of Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley — showed everyone smiling during the meeting. An accompanying post read: “Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A. Transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had. We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope. More to come.”
A publicist for the Nashville group said she had no information to add.
White was positive about the meeting, which also included members of her management team.
“The band picture was genuine,” White wrote in her email to The Seattle Times. “We had tears, grief, forgiveness and grace in a tough conversation. I have processed my emotions from that day, I realize anger was not at them personally, but frustration out of our present climate, which I relayed during our talks today to Hillary, Dave and Charles. Black people are triggered from the trauma we are forced to live in daily, thru murders by police which are televised, mass incarcerations, racism, the #Karen’s of the world spitting our faces, have to worry about our children even more than usual; protesting the injustices that we have dealt with for years. This is all real. So to think I wouldn’t be upset is unrealistic in these times. The bottom line is to make a choice to move forward in forgiveness and come up with positive outcomes that reflect the message we are trying to send by working together.”
Lady Antebellum has informally used the nickname Lady A as a convenience since its start in 2006. On social media last week, group members said they named the band after the antebellum style homes where they shot their first photos, as a reminder of Southern music that inspired them.
White said talks will continue this week, but that she’s already resolved that she will be keeping the stage name Lady A.
“We will be working towards an amicable solution that yields a positive outcome for not only our respective bands but our fans, friends and families,” White wrote.