January 31st, 2009
03:13 PM ET
8 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. Magicmary

    I think that hat is AWESOME! It's big and bold though conservative in color like a man's suit worn by an acknowledged icon of American music. It balances perfectly with the bigness and boldness of her presence and voice but the bow and the greyness are as comfortable and old fashioned as My Country Tis of Thee.
    Fashionistas, really, what SHOULD she have worn instead?

    Go Aretha!

    January 31, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Say What?

    After her weak performance, that hat isn't all that's headed to a museum.

    January 31, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. Brian

    If you do it, you won't regret it !!

    If you lose it, you will regret it !!

    From the words of a famous actor:

    Make it so !! :D

    January 31, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    If it is in the Smithsonian then whoever wants to see they will be able to and it would be in the best place possible where nobody could steal it or damage it. Don't be selfish and share it with the world.

    January 31, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  5. demo in PA

    I have never seen so many bone headed people like this country has
    give up your hat
    you people are the jokes of this country
    please leave and go live in another country
    so we can have a great country again

    January 31, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Big Ed

    Aretha – The Queen of Soul! What a talent!

    January 31, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. Obama 2.0

    So does Walmart's gift wraping department.

    January 31, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. djork

    A iconic hat worn by an iconic woman on an iconic occasion. It belongs in the Smithsonian. Get over it, people.

    January 31, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. Griff

    If you need a Hat, to get ahead... You need something, to put under it...

    January 31, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  10. Carlos

    The Smithsonian has lost its focus....period. A hat? Please people. Let's get a grip here. With all due respect to Ms. Franklin, that is one of the ugliest things that I have seen on a head since the Ayatollah's get up.

    January 31, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  11. Laura

    Bloody Hell, people! I think a lot of you are totally missing the point. So the hat is ugly, so what? Point is it's MEMORABLE! We're all talking about it, aren't we?

    And also who made the rule that history always had to be srs bizns? Personally I think that Aretha's performance that day was another highlight of an event that had me glued to my telly, and the awesomesauce that was her hat just added to the occasion. Quit your griping and try experimenting with that facial expression called 'A Smile'.

    January 31, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. gail

    That hat is not just a thing. It was the most wonderful spirited piece of fashion that celebrated a truly joyous historic moment for our country..not to mention Aretha was totally gorgeous in it.
    I do hope she will part with it as it is th icon of celebratory fashion for this wonderful moment in history

    January 31, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. Lauralherold@stny.rr.com

    Aretha will have her own museum someday so maybe she should keep it for that!

    January 31, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. amy

    The hat, the outfit, the occasion, and the woman are iconic. Monumentous. I think Ms. Franklin should donate the coat and the hat at her leisure. She was awesome and her outfit reflected her reverence of the occasion. She was dressing for God, for this day, and this man. Aretha Franklin is an american treasure. She is also a civil rights icon.

    January 31, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  15. Kent Raine

    The symbolism of a hat, worn by an American musical treasure, performing at a significant moment in American history. This changes a simple accessory into something that will help those looking back to better understand how incredible that day was. We live in a country that thrives on differences. Her taste, my taste and you the reader's taste may rarely by aligned, but let us not forget, she stood up there and sang about "My Country".. your country, and at the heart of it, asked for something we can all appreciate. A Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
    Respectfully Submitted,
    Kent C. Raine
    Charlottesville, VA

    January 31, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  16. Greg

    I love the hat. It draws your attention away from her face.

    January 31, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  17. Perusing-through

    THE SMITHSONIAN GOT IT RIGHT!!

    Sorry Aretha, , , give it up.

    But as a side note, I too did not like the hat. I was stunned that she wore it. And the whole time Aretha was singing, my eyes was glued to that hat! I never saw Aretha's face until the news channel replayed the event.

    January 31, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. SHECKY

    The Queen of Soul. She was the best part of the entire Inauguration!

    January 31, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Kathy in Florida, you took the words right out of my mouth.

    January 31, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. TexasAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    Aretha, I love ya and I love your music, but that hat is just plain ugly.

    January 31, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. don't do Aretha

    its a trick, I love that hat and your songs, the smithsonian are sucking the country of its peoples items, fight them, don't do it

    I think Rush is behind the request

    January 31, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. K Sparks

    For those who do not see that the hat is 100% fabulous and totally appropriate to the wearer, the occasion and the coat, all your taste is in your mouth.

    It was her crown for the day, and beautiful, as is she.

    What a fabulous comment about the 3 year old thinking she was the Statue of Liberty. Love it.

    January 31, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. hungry

    it would be a piece of history that you and your family and the rest of the world could always treasure.

    January 31, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. LLT

    Shame on CNN and Anderson Cooper's socalled "Keeping Them Honest" for mocking Ms Franklin's hat. This woman is an American icon who should be treated with the respect she deserves.

    January 31, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. SUZI

    Are you people CRAZY??? That is the hottest hat I've ever seen! I love it and I love Aretha! She looked spectacular in the hat and it is a part of history! I'll never forget it, or that day! Aretha, hang on to it for a while, you deserve it Ms. Queen!!!

    January 31, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
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