Lady A (formerly Lady Antebellum have filed a lawsuit against solo blues singer Anita Baker, who has been using the same stage name for over 20 years.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday (July 8) at Nashville’s U.S. District Court, Billboard reported. Originally, the group and White were in talks with their attorneys to reach an agreement. The band claims that White’s team “delivered a draft settlement agreement that included an exorbitant monetary demand.”
“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the band said in a statement. “She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.”
The Name Change
Lady A made the name change announcement via social media on June 11. The reason for the name change came about due to the trio wanting to be more inclusive and after reflecting on the Black Lives Matter movement. Although the name, Antebellum, came about after the style home, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and David Haywood decided to cut ties with the name due to its history.
On June 12, White gave an interview to Rolling Stone explaining that she has been performing as a solo artist under the moniker for over two decades.
Thirdly, on June 15 the band and White both shared a photo of the group in a Zoom call. “Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A,” the band wrote. “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.”
The band said in their statement that they learned that Ms. White was performing under the stage name after they made the name change.
“We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will – today’s action doesn’t change that,” their statement continued. “Instead, we shared our stories, listened to each other, prayed and spent hours on the phone and text writing a song about this experience together. We felt we had been brought together for a reason and saw this as living out the calling that brought us to make this change in the first place.”