'This word is offensive': Lady A reflect on name change

·2-min read
Lady A reflect on name change credit:Bang Showbiz
Lady A reflect on name change credit:Bang Showbiz

Lady A "had never asked" what people thought of their old name.

The 'Friends Don't Let Friends' group - Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood - shortened their name from Lady Antebellum in June 2020 in a bid to be more "inclusive to all", and they've explained the decision came about when they started to reflect on the connotations of the term, which has ties to owners of enslaved people and the Confederate South, amid the protests following the police killing of George Floyd and quickly realised it wasn't something they wanted to be associated with.

Speaking on 'People (the TV Show!)', Hillary said: "The murder of George Floyd brought so much of it to our attention and just talking to our friends, we knew through history class what the word antebellum meant, but understanding what it implied, what it made people feel — we had never asked.

"And so when we did, we realised unanimously that this word is offensive."

Charles added: "After a while, when you start hearing some of these comments, you're like, 'Whoa, I don't want people to think that about us.'"

The 'Need You Now' hitmakers originally chose to name themselves Lady Antebellum because of the southern style that "influenced" their music, but admitted when they announced the change that they felt "regretful and embarrassed" by the word choice.

They said in a statement at the time: "When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the southern 'antebellum' style home where we took our first photos. 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."

Lady A closed their statement by apologising for any "hurt" they may have caused.

They explained: "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. We hope you will dig in and join us."

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