First there was a problem. Then the problem was solved. Now, there’s a problem again as negotiations between the recently re-named country band Lady A and the similarly named Blues singer Lady A have “broken down.” Why? The singer Lady A’s attorney “reportedly delivered a draft settlement agreement [to the band] that included an exorbitant monetary demand.” While the dollar figure is not mentioned in the suit, a statement issued by the band says the amount is $10 million. So…. they have no choice but file a lawsuit against her and sue her into oblivion.
“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White [Lady A} in unity and common purpose has ended,” the group said in a statement. “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.” (Read the statement in full below.)
According to Billboard: “The suit acknowledges that the solo artist Lady A has performed under the name and has used the name while touring and to identify herself on recorded music released as far back as 2010 and on streaming services, but adds that “based on information and belief,” White has never used Lady A as a trademark and if she did, she applied after Lady Antebellum had secured its trademarks a decade ago.”
So the suit is fair game.
This is a far cry from where the two Lady A’s were a couple weeks ago.
On June 15, the group posted on its Instagram a picture of a Zoom meeting with White and two of her colleagues, writing:
“Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A. Transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had. We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope. More to come.”
When reached by Billboard June 15, the solo artist Lady A said via email,
“We had [a] meeting today and we’re looking forward to a beneficial outcome for both parties. We’re making progress.”
Here is the band’s full statement from today.
“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended. 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. It was a stirring in our hearts and reflection on our own blindspots that led us to announce a few weeks ago that we were dropping the word ‘Antebellum’ from our name and moving forward using only the name so many of our fans already knew us by. When we learned that Ms. White had also been performing under the name Lady A, we had heartfelt discussions with her about how we can all come together and make something special and beautiful out of this moment. We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will – today’s action doesn’t change that. Instead, we shared our stories, listened to each other, prayed and spent hours on the phone and text writing a song about this experience together. We felt we had been brought together for a reason and saw this as living out the calling that brought us to make this change in the first place. We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to work together with Anita for that greater purpose. We’re still committed to educating ourselves, our children and doing our part to fight for the racial justice so desperately needed in our country and around the world. We’ve only taken the first small steps and will prioritize racial equality as a key pillar of the work of LadyAID, specifically leaning into supporting and empowering our youth. We hope Anita and the advisers she is now listening to will change their minds about their approach. We can do so much more together than in this dispute.”
So… more news on this as it develops.
(via Hollywood Reporter; photo: Avalon)