Country music group Lady A, who dropped Antebellum from their name over the word’s ties to slavery, have filed a lawsuit against a black singer who has performed as Lady A for years.

The Grammy-winning group said they had attempted to resolve its dispute with Anita White but alleged her team demanded a 10 million dollar (about £7.9 million) payment.

Lady A, made up of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, changed their name in June amid a reappraisal of racially insensitive practices following the death of George Floyd.

Lady Antebellum concert
Hillary Scott of country music group Lady A, who have launched legal action against a blues singer who uses the same name (Yui Mok/PA)

Antebellum means before war and has ties to the pre-Civil War US, where slavery was still practised.

In their lawsuit, filed at a federal court in Tennessee, the band are seeking a ruling that their use of the Lady A trademark does not infringe on White’s alleged trademark rights of the same name.

Lady A is not seeking monetary damages. Blues singer White had previously told Rolling Stone she had been using the Lady A name for “over 20 years” and was upset the band had also chosen the name.

In a statement alongside the lawsuit, Nashville’s Lady A said they had held “heartfelt discussions” with Seattle-based White over the use of the name and stressed they have no intention of stopping her from using the title.

They said: “We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will – today’s action doesn’t change that.

“Instead, we shared our stories, listened to each other, prayed and spent hours on the phone and text writing a song about this experience together.

“We felt we had been brought together for a reason and saw this as living out the calling that brought us to make this change in the first place. We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to work together with Anita for that greater purpose.”

In the lawsuit, the band said they applied to trademark the Lady A name in 2010 and no oppositions were filed.

The band added: “We hope Anita and the advisers she is now listening to will change their minds about their approach. We can do so much more together than in this dispute.”

Lady A formed in 2006 and are best known for the songs Just A Kiss and Need You Now.