The country band "Lady A," formerly known as "Lady Antebellum," has filed a lawsuit against an African-American blues singer who has gone by the name of "Lady A" for more than two decades. Anita White, the blues singer, previously called the country group's attempt to take her name a demonstration of "pure privilege."
"This is my life. Lady A is my brand, I've used it for over 20 years, and I'm proud of what I've done," she said. "This is too much right now. They're using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time. If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before. It shouldn't have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it."
White allegedly sought $10 million from the country group in order to relinquish rights to the name, a request that the band called "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," said a statement from the band obtained by Fox News. "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 suit alleges that the popular country group actually registered both the Lady Antebellum and Lady A monikers with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office back in 2011.
"Prior to 2020, White did not challenge, in any way, Plaintiffs' open, obvious, and widespread nationwide and international use of the LADY A mark as a source indicator for Plaintiffs' recorded, downloadable, and streaming music and videos, Plaintiffs' live musical performances, or Plaintiffs' sale of souvenir merchandise," the suit claims.
Despite the fact that White has performed under the name "Lady A" for two decades, prior trademark registration likely gives the country band full rights to use and profit from the name going forward.