Country-music trio Lady A, formerly Lady Antebellum, recently changed their name in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. However, because Lady A is already claimed by blues singer Anita White, the trio is taking the issue to court.
What We Know:
- Following the protests against police brutality and racial injustice, Lady A changed their name because the word “Antebellum” describes a time where slavery was at its peak and they made the announcement on Instagram.
- Now, according to the lawsuit, “Lady A” was a nickname given to the band by their fans and it became an official trademark for the band in 2011. But another artist, Seattle-base blues singer Anita White, has been using the same stage name for more than a decade as well.
- The band attempted to agree with White and her team and in a Zoom call they were all able to discuss “co-writing and jointly recording a new song” and all seemed well.
- White even posted on her Instagram a photo of the Zoom call saying, “Today, we connected privately with the artist Lady A,” the post read. “Transparent, honest, and authentic conversations were had. We are excited to share we are moving forward with positive solutions and common ground. The hurt is turning into hope. More to come.”
- But the next day, White received a draft agreement from the band’s attorneys and said she was “not happy”. “Their camp is trying to erase me and I’ll more to say tomorrow, she told Newsday. “Trust is important and I no longer trust them.”
- According to the band’s lawsuit, all agreements were off when White asked for a $10 million payment, which led the band to sue White because of her “attempt to enforce purported trademark rights in a mark that Plaintiffs have held for more than a decade”.
- “Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the trio said. “She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.”
The lawsuit does acknowledge the fact that White has identified as Lady A since 2010 and features her music on Spotify, but it also notes that during the time of the court filing, White had 166 monthly listeners, compared to the group’s more than seven million.
Dolly Parton Declares Her Support For Black Lives Matter
Country music icon Dolly Parton declares support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
What We Know:
- Dolly Parton was always vocal about her support for the LGBTQ community but was rarely vocal about politics. But now she has declared her support for the Black Lives Matter movement in a new Billboard cover story, saying that she’s “unequivocal” in supporting protests for racial justice despite never attending one.
- “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” Parton said. “And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”
- Black Lives Matter protests have erupted all over the world, especially in the United States, fighting against systemic racism and police brutality after the deaths of many African Americans at the hands of police. The protests also have led to the removal of Confederate statues in states like Virginia and Tennessee.
- Other Country music artists like Lady A, previously Lady Antebellum, and The Chicks, previously the Dixie Chicks, have shown their support for the movement by changing their band name to remove imagery related to a pre-Civil War-era South.
- In 2018, Parton removed “Dixie” from Pigeon Forge dinner showroom Dolly Parton’s Stampede because she was told that it was an offensive term and she didn’t want to offend anyone, so she changed it to The Stampede.
- “There’s no such thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” Parton told Billboard. “…as soon as you know that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
Dolly Parton has won over 30 Grammy and CMA awards and is known for her hits “Jolene,” “9 to 5,” I Will Always Love You,” and “Islands in the Stream” featuring Kenny Rogers.
Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA Re-imagines Ice Cream Jingle Opposing “Turkey In the Straw”
It could be entirely possible the once cherished ice cream truck tune could adopt a new sound in the future. A collaboration from Good Humor and Wu-Tang Clan’s founder RZA, has recently teamed up to create a new ice cream truck theme for a “new era, ” after learning the classic jingle holds racist roots.
What We Know:
- One might immediately recognize the iconic melody from the song, “Turkey in the Straw”, when an ice-cream truck comes rolling down a street on a nice summer day. The tune was popular at minstrel shows around 200 years ago, which often depicted white actors participating in Blackface or other racial stereotyping acts. Good Humor only just now learned of the unfortunate history.
- Much of the public weren’t aware that this childhood jingle for many, actually held a discomforting tone and meaning. Theodore R. Johnson wrote a piece for NPR in 2014 explaining exactly how racist lyrics were added to the tune from minstrel shows in the 1800s and onward. It originally came to the United States as a tune British and Irish folk played on the fiddle.
“There is simply no divorcing the song from the dozens of decades it was almost exclusively used for coming up with new ways to ridicule, and profit from, black people,” stated Johnson.
- Senior director Russel Lilly of the parent company of Good Humor, Unilever, made a note that they haven’t used or owned ice cream trucks for a while now but wished to be a part of the change nonetheless.
- Although they haven’t operated trucks since the ’70s, Good Humor is known for being the inventor of the ice cream trucks in a time where the company first thought about bringing their products to customers. “We wanted to be part of the solution and offer ice cream truck drivers a jingle that can bring joy to every community,” Lilly said in a statement.
- RZA took a trip down memory lane in a statement by saying, “I remember the days when I would hear that iconic ice cream truck jingle outside, and I would drop what I was doing to chase it down for a treat”.
- Check out the new jingle below:
In a behind the scenes making of the new jingle, Good Humor shared its initiative to make it the new industry standard for music boxes in trucks.
Big Hit Entertainment Going Public, Announces BTS Virtual Concert
South Korean media company, Big Hit Entertainment, recently announced their plan to go public this year and provided several updates about their music groups, including plans for a virtual BTS concert this fall.
What We Know:
- Big Hit Entertainment, the label that manages boy-band BTS, held a corporate briefing on Thursday. The company revealed that they saw revenues of 294 billion won ($244.8 million) and operating profits of 49.7 billion won ($41.4 million) over the last six months. Even though the pandemic canceled or altered many of their artists’ events, online concert and merchandise sales allowed for a 27% increase in profits. Big Hit is working on an initial public offering (IPO) with a listing planned for this year. Some analysts predict the IPO could value Big Hit at 4 trillion won ($3.4 billion).
- In addition to the financial wins, Big Hit announced several exciting projects for their artists. BTS will be holding a virtual concert in October titled Map of the Soul ON:E. The company also announced upcoming albums from BTS, Tomorrow X Together (TXT), and NU’EST. Additional releases include a Korean language-learning course, the upcoming BTS film Break The Silence: The Movie, and a new book titled The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: The Notes 2, which is another literary installment in the “BTS Universe”.
- Big Hit’s cash cow is BTS, the seven-member K-pop group. BTS quickly rose to global prominence, becoming the first group since The Beatles to have three Billboard No. 1 albums in a year. The group has broken YouTube records with their music videos and their concerts sell out within seconds. In addition to BTS, Big Hit manages TXT and owns the labels which manage Seventeen and GFriend. The Big Hit groups dominated South Korea’s album charts this year, making up 40% of all album sales. The new BTS album Map of the Soul: 7 sold over 4.26 million copies.
BTS had planned a world tour for this summer, but most of the concerts were canceled. Instead, the group held a virtual concert in June which sold 756,000 tickets, equivalent to about 15 stadium concerts.
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