Lady Antebellum is changing its name to Lady A.
The band made the announcement in an open letter to fans shared to social media on Thursday.
“As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive of all,” the country music group began. “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 every day. Now, blind spots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.”
The five-time Grammy winners then revealed that “after much personal reflection, band discussions, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues” they have “decided to drop the word ‘Antebellum” from their name and “move forward as Lady A.” According to the post, “Lady A” is a “nickname” fans have called the band—which consist of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood—”almost from the start.”
Looking back at when they formed the band 14 years ago, the artists said they originally named the group after the “southern ‘Antebellum’ style home” where they took their first photos.
“As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the south that has influenced us…southern rock, blues, R&B, gospel and of course country,” they continued. “But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referencing the period of history before the Civil War, which includes slavery.”
The stars then noted they “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,” the statement continued. “So today, we speak up and make change. We hope you will dig in and join us.”
At one point, Lady A acknowledged some followers may ask why the group didn’t make the change until now.
“The answer is that we can make no excuse for our lateness to this realization,” the “Need You Now” artists concluded. “What we can do is acknowledge it, turn from it and take action.”
Near the end of the letter, the country music celebrities wrote they felt like they “have been Awakened.” Although, they acknowledged this is “just one step.”
“There are countless more that need to be taken,” they added. “We want to do better. We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism. 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.”
They then announced they’re donating to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID.
“Out 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 and generations to come,” they concluded before signing off with love.
See their full letter above.