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Country trio Lady A’s messy dispute with singer Lady A settled | Entertainment

Veteran blues singer Anita White and the country band formerly known as Lady Antebellum have settled their dueling lawsuits over who gets to use the name Lady A.

The musicians filed joint requests on Monday for dismissals of name-dispute lawsuits, according to court documents reviewed by the Los Angeles Times.

“The Band dismiss all claims in this action against White with prejudice. White dismisses with prejudice all counterclaims against the Band in this action. Each party shall bear its own costs, expenses, and attorney’s fees,” said Lady A’s motion filed in Tennessee. White filed a nearly identical motion in Washington state.

Terms of the settlement were not publicly disclosed, and it’s unclear if both parties can still use the name and what the terms of that use will be. But since the two parties asked to have the cases dismissed “with prejudice,” neither is allowed to refile the same claim in those courts.

Representatives for White and the country trio did not immediately comment Wednesday when reached by the L.A. Times.

The Grammy-winning group, known for hits including “Need You Now” and “Just a Kiss,” altered its name in June 2020 to dissociate from the racist history of the pre-Civil War era that the name Lady Antebellum conjured. The move came amid nationwide protests against police brutality after George Floyd’s death and widespread conversations about systemic racism.

White, a Seattle-based artist who has gone by the stage name Lady A for decades, initially called the band’s decision “ironic” and performative, considering that its members adopted the name Lady A without the consent of a Black artist who had released several albums under the same moniker.

White and the band appeared to make nice during a publicized Zoom call in July 2020 and vowed to come up with “positive solutions and common ground.”

However, after negotiations over sharing the name quickly broke down, Lady A sued White later that month in Nashville’s U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Band members Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and David Haywood and their company, Lady A Entertainment, sought a declaratory judgment to allow them to use the name without infringing on any of White’s trademark rights.

The band’s lawsuit said that the trio had long gone by Lady A informally and that White did not oppose any previous applications for the Lady A mark, nor did she seek to cancel any of the Lady A registrations or seek the trademark for herself.

But their litigiousness promptly sparked a backlash, with critics pointing out the irony of the group taking legal action against an established Black artist.

White responded to the band’s lawsuit that September by countersuing.

Her own trademark-infringement lawsuit — filed in Washington state — alleged that the group’s name change “caused tortious injury” to her. She demanded that it drop the Lady A name permanently and sought compensation for damages she said she incurred as a result of the band’s rebranding. She also laid claim to profits that the band collected while using the Lady A moniker.

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©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2022 Tribune Content Agency.

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