January 31st, 2009
03:13 PM ET
6 months 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. nice hat

    I think Mike Steele would look better in it,hes just a big mommas boy anyway.

    January 31, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. John in Bill town

    I think Aretha should be in the Smithsonian. Not her hat.

    January 31, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. MK

    Glad to see somebody appreciates it. What a site.

    January 31, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. HHH

    She should bequeath it to the Smithsonian–I certainly see why she wants it as a keepsake during her life. If it's historically important now, it'll be historically important when she and we all gone.

    January 31, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. FleetFootNC

    Soul Sista No. 1, the Queen of Soul, and Diva de Troit: Baby you was fine in that hat singin' yo brand of "My Country Tis of Thee". But, girl, you got to give it up. That hat blown up way too big fo you now. Can I get a amen?

    January 31, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. MMS

    I love the hat. It is perfect for the Queen of Soul both tasteful and exuberant. The Queen and her hat provided one of the most memorable visuals of the Inauguration. I'm sure she will give it up to history. Aretha you are the greatest!

    January 31, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. Brandon

    I hope they do get the hat. I will never forget it as long as I live.

    January 31, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. HopeWon2008

    Lady Soul, if your country calls you must answer. Give the hat up so that many many years from now when young kids visit the Smithsonian they can read about this historic election and your part in it. That's more important then anything you might have in mind for that hat. Just my humble opinion.

    January 31, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. No Hillary = No Obama

    Give it up, Aretha!

    January 31, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. ThrilledtohaveObamaintheWH

    If I were Aretha, I'd hold onto it for the sentimental value and continue enjoying it for as long as she lives, then bequeath it to the Smithsonian. If it's truly worthy of being in there, it will stand the test of time and still be just as historic one day when The Queen is gone. What's the rush?

    January 31, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. MyAudacity

    Everybody could not and should not attempt to wear a hat like that. But, for Aretha....it could be signature. A Lady and her fancy hats is a part of history......ask the Queen of England, it is a sign of power.

    January 31, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. Barbie

    Love You Aretha, you are a musical icon. I can see why they would want just a "small part" of your contribution from this historic day.
    LOVED THE HAT and you looked great wearing it.....Now one more reason to take the kids and hopefully one day the grandchildren to the Smithsonian!

    January 31, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. P

    give up the hat, have the designer make you a replica! ANYWAYS; when are you ever going to wear it again?! Go to the museum if you need to see it!

    January 31, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. Weepy

    Aretha, her hat and "the poet" were ONLY three of the worst "sights and sounds" on that day. Aretha NEVER could sing, she only "shouts on tune"!

    January 31, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. WHAT???

    WHAT????

    Why on earth would the Smithsonian want this ugly had unless it's too make fun of it......

    This speaks volumes about how Americans are losing their perspective on what's important in life.

    January 31, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. Bobby

    I would like to know exactly which Smithsonian Museum they plan to exhibit the hat in?

    The Air and Space Museum as part of their beyond the stars exhibit, or will it be displayed at the Natural History Museum next to the Hope Diamond as another national gem, perhaps they may even display it in the National Museum of the American Indians, isnt this some kind of War Bonnet?

    Just exactly where do they plan to display this ugly thing, I love Aretha, have nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T for her but, dear me. Its just a HAT!

    January 31, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. S Callahan

    You know, I adore Aretha....her singing moves many souls...though I don't think it was her best at the Innag. ...but weather was a factor for sure. Anyhow, I really don't think it's significant to put this in the Smith...it's a hat....does that mean the stockings, suits, ties, of everyone else also goes down in history...come on..

    January 31, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Shirley in Virginia

    I love Aretha Franklin, always have and always will, and I am a number one President Obama supporter. That said, I agree with a writer above, that is one very unattractive hat, to put it semi-politely. Give it up, Aretha, your voice is your golden place in history, and you had it long before you sang at President Obama's inauguration. Please, give that ridiculous hat to the Smithsonian and buy one full of color that would make you look like the "Queen of Soul" that you truly are.

    January 31, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. fearful for my country

    Oh for crying out loud...it's a stupid ugly hat worn by a hasbeen. She's just hoping to make some money off of it because she's not making any off her records any more.

    January 31, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. Love the hat in AZ!

    I loved the hat, I would part with it if I were her.

    January 31, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Christopher Gorman

    To all of you who don't appreciate the true beauty of this hat, get out of your mid-western plaid flannel shirts, blue-jean overalls and caterpillar boots,(or CROCS!) because you have no sense of style or grace. The designer who commented about the essence of all soulful women hit the nail on the head!

    January 31, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Lynay

    Oh good grief ... if I were her I'd never worn it in the first place. It made her look like a sterotypical "Aunt Jemima". It was not an historical hat, rather it was an hysterical hat !!!!!! Why would the museum want such an ugly thing?

    January 31, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Charles

    I love Aretha...but I think she needs to get over herself.

    January 31, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. GuyInVA

    In keeping with the theme of the new administration, the hat should be described using the American media's new favorite word. Like the nomination and election of the President, the nomination of Eric Holder, the (unfortunate) nomination of Bill Richardson, and the nomination of Elena Kagan, this hat is – dare I say it – HISTORIC.

    January 31, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Susan

    That hat isn't Smithsonian quality. Give me a break – even the singing wasn't that good.

    January 31, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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