A few weeks ago as most of Tinseltown and the pop haven known as Nashville decided to get “woke” on racial matters, the band Lady Antebellum decided to change their name. They would perform in future as Lady A, a moniker their fans allegedly have pinned on them for quite some time.
Meanwhile blues singer Lady A performed, and she had nothing to do with the pop country band formerly known as Lady Antebellum.
There’s a brouhaha and now the country band is suing Lady A the blues singer.
To their credits, the band and the blues singer did have a conversation in an attempt to reconcile the use of the name. It appears neither party trademarked the name. A writeup at Rolling Stone included this:
“In the suit, the group claim that despite their official Lady Antebellum name, the term “Lady A” was interchangeable with their official name and that the Seattle singer “never used ‘Lady A’ as a trademark to identify her goods or as a service mark to identify her entertainment services.”
The parties did try to come to terms. The blues Lady A wanted $10 million–$5 million for herself and $5 million for a political group. I find that last hilarious. What a pop country band has to do with a political group is beyond me. Needless to say they didn’t settle and now Lady A the band is suing Lady A the blues singer.
All musicians involved have issued heartfelt statements bemoaning inequality and other such matters. As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
I honestly wonder how many young Americans would even be able to define the word “antebellum”, to be honest. It seems to me that the word, technically used to describe a period before any war of note, is harmless unless there is harmful intent. The band was already branded with that name for years. It seems quite foolish to me to suddenly wake up one morning and go, “Ohmigod! Our name has the word ‘antebellum’ in it.”
It seems equally foolish to me for the blues singer Lady A to demand payment for a political group. I guess it’s becoming more common since the federal government did that when they shook down Gibson Guitars in 2011. That day should be a day that lives in infamy for egregious violations of the US Constitution. Most legacy media simply looked the other way. It should have been a scandal of epic proportions. You can learn more about this outrage by visiting the libertarian site Reason TV. I chose that source because it isn’t affiliated with either major political party.
It seems to me both the band and the blues singer could just go ahead and use ‘Lady A’. Their fan bases probably don’t overlap a lot, and no one will be confused because we are talking two completely different genres of music.
There’s a lesson there—there’s always an unforeseen price for getting “woke”, especially if you get woke simply for publicity.
There’s a lesson there for the blues Lady A too—it was a lucky day when that band truncated their name because you cannot buy the kind of publicity the Lady A blues singer is getting right about now. Blues Lady A can piggyback on country pop Lady A and not spend a dime.
~~Featured image: Search results for ‘Lady A’ snipped from Bing.
(Kay B. Day/July 9, 2020)
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