January 31st, 2009
03:13 PM ET
4 years ago

People: Smithsonian requests Aretha's hat

Aretha Franklin performed at Obama's inauguration.

Aretha Franklin performed at Obama's inauguration.

Michelle Obama’s now-famous Jason Wu gown isn’t the only piece of Inaugural fashion that is headed for the Smithsonian. The museum is also requesting the now-iconic hat that Aretha Franklin wore while singing at the swearing-in.

Aretha, however, is still undecided about parting with her Luke Song-designed hat. “I am considering it. It would be hard to part with my chapeau since it was such a crowning moment in history,” says the Queen of Soul.

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Filed under: Inauguration • Popular Posts
soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. Elizabeth

    Ms Franklin,
    Please donate it to the museum. LOVE IT!

    When did so many Americans become so mean and ugly. I finaly understand the term "UGLY AMERICAN"

    January 31, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Aretha, I love ya and I love your music, but man, that hat was the king of gradios gaudiness.

    January 31, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. LATaurus

    "CHAPEAU".... love it.... all hail ARETHA!!!

    January 31, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. eurydices

    The hat was beautiful,now you know why little girls like bows in their hair,give up the hat Aretha you have made your mark in history.

    January 31, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Stever

    Yes, Its a great Idea! In fact while were at it ....Lets ask for her dress, coat, and panties/thong!

    January 31, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Joyce in WV

    I loved the hat! You go, girl! Do whatever you like!

    January 31, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Mercedes Guynne

    Aretha, send that fabulous $500 one-of-a kind hat to the Smithsonian Institute so the world will have an appreciative understanding of African American church fashion, especially the haute couture crowns, and its historical significance in our religious culture. POTUS (Barack) and FLOTUS (Michelle) will appreciate your generosity and your contribution to their place in American history.

    January 31, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. janet, ohio

    Could I have the toilet paper that Obama used that day? How about the tissue that Yo-Yo Ma was wiping his nose with?

    January 31, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Leda

    Unless you are an African-American (or any other of a certain age) you do not know the importance of the woman's crowning glory. I'm a white girl who grew up in the South in the 40's, 50's 60'd and dammit I never looked good in a hat and still don't. SO Aretha, while I couldn't wear it, you do what you want ant then give it the the Smithsonian. Which will be God willing many years down the road

    January 31, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. JFK

    Check out the Aretha Franklin Hat Club on facebook

    January 31, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. bco

    Nice hat, Aretha. Good job singing in the extreme cold.

    Since there are no comments on the Daschle story.... if his confirmation gets stalled.... how about, oh I dunno... maybe a 5 term centrist former governor who successfully implemented single-payer health care for all children in his state, and then went on to demonstrate his ability to envision and institute a successful 50-state strategy for the Democratic Party?


    January 31, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. nayda

    Com'on give it up, it will be forever preserved. You keep it and your family will put it on Ebay or Christie's once you part this earth.

    January 31, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. joplin

    Loved the performance, think the hat is pretty horrid-looking..couldn't believe my eyes when she walked out with that huge silver bow on her head...I cannot see the significance of having that silly hat in the museum.

    January 31, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Bill


    January 31, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    She was the only lady I think that was dressed appropiately for the special occasion. The queen of soul deserves to have it placed there. Inaugral gown looked more like a n african sarong from afar and Barbara Walters menitioned how everyone was looking forward to seeing the most talked about dress of the night as it was some kind of hint as to the kind of adminstration the nation could expect. Funny when one thinks of how simple the gown looked compared to the overblown stimulus package.

    January 31, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. David B

    That hat is already one of the most famous in history. Name another hat related to a US presidential inauguration? You can't, right? See there.

    Anyway, I loved the hat as soon as I saw it. The significance and symbolism of it was apparent right from the start. Aretha does everything she does with meaning and purpose...and fabulous flamboyance. She chose perfectly and brilliantly for the circumstances.

    I can't wait to see the hat at The Smithsonian. Please, do give it, Aretha.

    January 31, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Jon

    She can always leave it to the Smithsonian when she dies... Not a big deal.

    January 31, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. debra from Georgia

    Give the hat up Aretha for history

    January 31, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Kate

    Can i try it on first?please..

    January 31, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. Gordon Shumway

    Maybe the "Hello, Dolly" museum............................

    January 31, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. ken

    If Lewinsky's blue dress isn't in the Smithonian then neither should Arethra's hat.

    January 31, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. bsmith171

    smithsonain should be closed for having stupid curators.

    January 31, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. LOL

    What an idiot.....you look like a big ole doll baby ! Hilarious

    January 31, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. Kathy R.

    Give them the hat. This thing was a contraption, not an article of clothing. Ms. Franklin has some serious fashion issues.

    January 31, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. carol

    I loved the hat!!!

    January 31, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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