Country band Lady A files lawsuit against Black blues singer with the same name
The band's lawsuit states that they had applied for trademarks for the name “Lady A” in 2010 and no oppositions were filed by any person or entity
American country music group Lady A, which dropped the word “Antebellum,” from their name because of the word’s ties to slavery, has filed a lawsuit against a Black singer who has performed as Lady A for years.
The Grammy-winning vocal group filed the lawsuit on 8 July in federal court after negotiations with Anita White broke down in recent weeks. According to the lawsuit, the band is seeking a ruling that their use of the trademark "Lady A" does not infringe on White’s alleged trademark rights of the same name. The band is not seeking monetary damages.
The group made up Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood announced the name change last month, saying they were regretful for not taking into consideration the word antebellum’s associations with slavery.
But White, who has been releasing blues and soul music for years as Lady A, complained publicly that the band never reached out to her before changing their name. Negotiations over the name failed to reach an agreement. A manager for White did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the lawsuit, the band applied for trademarks for the name “Lady A” for entertainment services and for use on clothing back in 2010 and no oppositions were filed by any person or entity. The band's lawsuit mentions that White had demanded a $10 million settlement, which they labelled as "exorbitant," according to Rolling Stone.
The band in their statement mentioned how "heartfelt discussions" were undertaken with White about "how we can all come together and make something special and beautiful out of this moment." They added that she will not be withheld from using the moniker for her music.
White had told the publication that she asked for $5 million for herself and another $5 million as donation to Black Lives Matter organisation.“I didn’t ask for anything before; I told them multiple times I didn’t want to coexist. I shouldn’t have to fight for my name. They have totally, totally erased me," she tells Rolling Stone.
(With inputs from The Associated Press)
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