Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum at CMT Artists of the Year in Nashville. File/ AP
The Grammy-winning country group formerly known as Lady Antebellum on Thursday announced their new name Lady A, with members saying they were "embarrassed" for not considering the band name's link to slavery.
The term "Antebellum" refers to a time period before a war, and is widely associated with the pro-slavery American South in the pre-Civil War years.
"As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge... inclusive of all," the group that emerged some 14 years ago said on social media.
"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 every day," it added.
"Now, blind spots we didn't even know existed have been revealed."
The announcement comes after two weeks of anti-racism protests ignited after the police killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis.
The band -- known for hits like "I Run To You" and "Need You Now" -- said they had settled on the original name after taking their first group photos at an Antebellum-style home, saying it reminded them of "music born in the South" that had influenced them.
The musicians apologized 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."
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