Lady A Lawsuit Ends in Settlement After 19-Month Legal Battle

The Lady A lawsuit between Seattle-based blues singer Anita White (pictured) and the country act formerly known as Lady Antebellum has officially drawn to a close.

Back in July of 2020, one month after changing their name to Lady A, the country trio formerly known as Lady Antebellum filed a trademark complaint against a Seattle-based blues singer named Anita White, who’d released music as Lady A for some time beforehand. Now, the involved parties have officially settled the Lady A lawsuit.

The years-running Lady A lawsuit was set in motion in June of 2020, when Lady Antebellum announced that they would ditch their existing name for the former title. “After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer, and many honest conversations with some of our closest black friends and colleagues,” the Grammy-winning group wrote on social media, “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.”

But the act evidently neglected preliminary research when making the much-publicized name-change decision, for it quickly emerged that the original Lady A, Anita White, had been releasing music and touring with the name for decades. An early meeting between the two Lady As made it seem as though a compromise was imminent, but the talks quickly fell through.

(The newer Lady A claimed that Anita White had demanded a $10 million payment for the name’s use – while indicating that they had trademarked the title in 2010 – and the first Lady A sat down with DMN to discuss her experience negotiating with the country band.)

And after the latter act sued Anita White over the Lady A trademark in July of 2020, as mentioned, White in September of the same year fired back with a firmly worded countersuit, alleging in part that her many years of releasing music and touring as Lady A entitled her to “common law rights” to the name.

Court filings in late 2020 made clear that the high-profile lawsuit wouldn’t draw to a close anytime soon, and a federal judge in May of 2021 denied the original Lady A’s motion to dismiss or transfer the suit filed by Lady Antebellum.

As noted at the outset, a different filing yet has revealed that the Lady As have officially settled the complaint filed by Anita White. Both sides have agreed to dismiss the suit with prejudice, and each will cover its own legal fees, the document discloses.

But the concise resource doesn’t identify the terms of the settlement between Lady Antebellum and the first Lady A, and at the time of this piece’s publishing, neither of the acts looked to have directly addressed the subject on Twitter. Moreover, both artists’ music is still live on Spotify under the “Lady A” title.