Announcements follow similar moves by other artists and labels
UK house legend Dave Lee has announced that from now on he will be recording under his own name, retiring the stage name Joey Negro. The news comes hot on the heels of The Black Madonna announcing that she will henceforth be known as The Blessed Madonna.
Lee announced the news in a lengthy statement on his Facebook page today, in which he explains the nom du guerre's origins (as a portmanteau inspired by Pal Joey and J Walter Negro) but goes on to say, "In truth I’ve not felt comfortable with the name Joey Negro for a while, especially as I’ve got older. I’ve stopped using it a few times but establishing a new name as an artist isn’t easy and I’ve ended up going back to it. I understand now though that it’s not appropriate for me to carry on using the name. I’ve recently received emails, tweets etc saying that it is unacceptable and people find it out of place in 2020 - and I agree."
The Blessed Madonna, meanwhile, said of her own name change: "The name was a reflection of my family’s lifelong and profound Catholic devotion to a specific kind of European icon of the Virgin Mary which is dark in hue. People who shared that devotion loved the name, but in retrospect I should have listened harder to other perspectives. But now I hear loud and clear. My artist name has been a point of controversy, confusion, pain and frustration that distracts from things that are a thousand times more important than any single word in that name. We're living in extraordinary times and this is a very small part of a much bigger conversation, but we all have a responsibility to try and affect positive change in any way we can."
Others in the world of music have also recently changed their names in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, including country groups Lady Antebellum (now Lady A) and Dixie Chicks (now just The Chicks) and indie label One Little Indian (now One Little Independent).