"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," the country trio explained

By Maria Pasquini
June 11, 2020 03:10 PM
Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott, and Charles Kelley
Taylor Hill/Getty

Lady Antebellum has officially changed the name of their band, which evoked a painful time in U.S. history.

"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, and 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," band members Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood wrote in a lengthy statement shared to their social media pages on Thursday.

"After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word 'antebellum' from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start," they continued.

The group went on to explain that when they came up with the name over a decade ago, they were only thinking of "the southern 'antebellum' style home."

"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," they continued. "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."

"We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. Causing pain was never our hearts' intention, but it doesn't change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us," they added.

Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood
Denise Truscello/Getty

Acknowledging that "this is just one step," the band members acknowledged that "there are countless more that need to be taken."

"We want to do better," they wrote. "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."

"Our next outward step will be a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID. Our prayer is that if we lead by example…with humility, love, empathy and action…we can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices, while influencing our children & generations to come," they wrote in conclusion.

Last month, amid widespread protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Beronna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the band also issued a statement about the ongoing toll of racism in America.

"We can't speak to how it feels to be the target of racism in America, but we can see the pain, the suffering and the toll it continues to take. Our hope is that we all take the time to listen, educate ourselves, have difficult conversations and make changes through our own actions," they wrote.

"As parents, it breaks our hearts knowing our children are living in a world where this level of hate exists, but we will raise them to lead with love, respect, compassion and a serving heart," the group continued. "We pray for peace and the wisdom to do just that."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.