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Drive-By Truckers’ Vocalist Apologizes For Any ‘Negative Stereotypes’ Perpetuated By His Band’s Name

Last week, the country music trio previously known as Lady Antebellum announced they would be dropping their name’s association with the Civil era and instead adopting the title of Lady A. Patterson Hood, Drive-By Truckers‘ vocalist, took note of the group’s name change and scoffed at Lady A’s former moniker. That is, until he reflected on his own group’s problematic title. Hood “sincerely” apologized for any “negative stereotypes” his band name has perpetuated, saying he’s open to suggestions about a new label.

In an op-ed written for NPR, Hood detailed how the name Drive-By Truckers came to fruition by merging his love for hip-hop and country. He now recognizes the name’s problematic origins but says he should have been aware of it sooner. “I’m not going to, and can’t, claim that those were simpler times,” Hood said. “They weren’t. Rodney King was still a very fresh memory, and the forming of my band roughly coincided with the O.J. Simpson trial and all of the racial turmoil that accompanied it. The murders of Tupac and Biggie Smalls were just on the horizon.”

Hood ended his piece by apologizing for the name and vowing to continue the ongoing conversation about the prevalence of racism in this country:

“It has always been my intent to be a good person, and to try to be a better person. It’s always a work in progress. Many of our band’s songs have attempted to examine our country’s fatal flaw of racism, from its origins in slavery and religion to our current systematic failure to advance beyond this quagmire of hate and mis-opportunity. It’s an ongoing conversation that can be at times painful, but necessary. Our name was a drunken joke that was never intended to be in rotation and reckoned with two-and-a-half decades later, and I sincerely apologize for its stupidity and any negative stereotypes it has propagated. I’m not sure changing it now serves any higher purpose, but I’m certainly open to suggestions.”

Read Hood’s full op-ed here.