Lady Antebellum have announced the removal of the word “antebellum” from their name, due to the word’s strong association with pre-Civil War American history, a period defined by the institution of slavery.
This comes in the wake of nationwide protests against police brutality, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, and the reigniting of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The trio, now called Lady A, took to social media on June 11 to share the news with fans.
“As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge… inclusive of all. We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks,” they wrote on Facebook. “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, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.”
The group’s decision to remove the word came after “much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues,” they shared.
“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,” Lady A explained.
“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.”
In the statement, Lady A also recognized their “lateness to this realization” and stated that while “no excuses” can be made for that, they will “acknowledge it, turn from it and take action.”
The band announced they would be donating to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID, a philanthropic foundation they founded in 2012.
“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.”
Over the course of their career, Lady A have had numerous hit songs, including the crossover singles “Need You Now” and “Just a Kiss.” Last year, they released their eighth studio album Ocean, which includes “What If I Never Get Over You,” “Boots” and “What I’m Leaving for.” In April, the group also made an appearance on NBC’s Songland, where they were pitched and subsequently recorded their current single, “Champagne Night.”
Read Lady A’s full statement here: