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Original Lady A files countersuit against country group formerly called Lady Antebellum

Sep 16, 2020 at 09:50. 20 comments

It’s been two months since we last checked in on the fight between blues singer Anita “Lady A” White and country music band Lady Antebellum (who decided to

change their name to Lady A back in June even though there was already a woman performing under that name). The two sides met to discuss how to proceed back in June, with the band proudly declaring that they both agreed to share the name even though original Lady A’s conclusion was just that she was going to keep using the name and didn’t care what the band did. A month later, the band decided to sue her , which—let’s be totally fair here—made them look like assholes. At best. Something much worse at worst. (Let’s not forget that this is a Black woman they’re suing, and the reason they changed from Lady Antebellum in the first place was because they finally realized that the old name could be interpreted as a fond recollection of the pre-Civil War days in the American South, a.k.a. when slavery was still legal.)

Lady A responded shortly after that , but now Rolling Stone says she’s gone ahead and filed a countersuit against the band, alleging that she has “nationwide common law rights” to the Lady A trademark and that her use of it predates “any rights in the Lady A mark allegedly owned by Lady Antebellum.” (In its suit, the band argued that it has been using Lady A as a nickname for years, even though it only ever seemed to pop up in situations where people couldn’t be bothered to write out the full name.) Lady A also argues that this whole thing “has overshadowed searches for her on social media and music services,” resulting in “lost sales, diminished brand identity, and diminution in the value of and goodwill associated with the mark.”

The band only filed its lawsuit after Lady A asked for a $10 million settlement in exchange for letting them using the name, with Rolling Stone noting that she says she only did that after decided that the band wasn’t taking her objections seriously enough. The band’s lawsuit, meanwhile, didn’t ask for any money or compensation, instead serving just to establish that the band could use the name and that Lady A couldn’t sue them over it later (which is what she’s doing now).

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