Seattle blues singer Anita White, who performs under the name Lady A, was a guest on a recent episode of Desus & Mero. She stopped by the show to discuss the ongoing controversy brought about by country band Lady Antebellum, who recently changed their name to… Lady A.
The country group initially scrubbed the word “Antebellum” from their name to due its connotations with American slavery. “It’s like they woke up one day and were like, ‘woah, woah woah: ‘Lady Antebellum’ makes people think of slavery? Since when?!’” Desus said, adding: “Anytime you say the word ‘Antebellum,’ in the back of your mind you hear ‘Strange Fruit.’ It’s not a fun word.” “It’s ironic that they wanna be ‘woke,’” Anita White told Desus and Mero. “But at the same time, you only wanna be partially woke.” Watch the full interview below.
White—who is currently being sued by the country band over the “Lady A” trademark—also discussed her Zoom conversations with the group. “The first thing I said was, ‘I do not want to share the name.’” She also inquired about the realities of both parties being called Lady A. “‘What does coexistence look like?’” she asked, stating that nobody would answer that specific question.
“I had already been grinding before they were born, that’s what gets me,” White told Desus and Mero. She added: “Black people, indigenous people, people of color—we’ve had our artistry, our music, our language our culture, and our names taken from us. You can’t continue to take from us. Because if you’re going to be an ally, you need to put some power behind your words. If you’re going to be an ally, sometimes you have to give up something.” White then showed Desus and Mero her very own trademark: a “Lady A” tattoo on her left shoulder. “I am the real Lady A,” she said.