Here’s why people are Googling ‘what does antebellum mean?’

The country music group Lady Antebellum has changed its name, saying it is “deeply sorry for the hurt” that it caused.

2019: Dave Haywood,Hillary Scott, and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum at 2019 CMT Artists of the Year in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP, FIle) 

Turns out a lot of people didn’t even know what the word meant. “Antebellum meaning” was the top trending search Thursday on Google, with more than 2 million people submitting that query.

The answer: Antebellum means “before a war,” and the term has been widely associated with the pre-Civil War period in the United States.

The trio now known as Lady A  —  Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood — made the announcement Thursday on their social media.

The group’s first album came out in 2008, and included the Grammy-winning No. 1 country hit “I Run To You,” then it achieved crossover success on the pop charts with the nine-times platinum “Need You Now.”  They have also won numerous Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music awards during their nearly 14 year career.

The statement said that they chose the name after the antebellum-style home where they shot their first band photos, and it reminded them of Southern styles of music.

“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 statement went on.

The name change comes during a week when HBO Max pulled “Gone With the Wind” from its film library and Disneyland heard complaints about the “Song of the South” theme of its Splash Mountain ride.

The band’s full statement:

Dear fans,

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 everyday. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.

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.

When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the Southern “antebellum” style home where we took our first photos. 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. But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weight 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.

We understand that many of you may ask the question “Why have you not made this change until now?” The answer is that we can make no excuse for our lateness to this realization. What we can do is acknowledge it, turn from it and take action.

 

 

— The Associated Press contributed to this report

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Author: Bay Area News Group

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