We as a nation have seen some iconic lids. But Blossom’s flower-power bucket, LL Cool J’s Kangol, Indiana Jones’ fedora, John Wayne’s Stetson, and Brad Pitt’s unfortunate post-divorce slouchy beanie don’t hold a rhinestone to the glorious bejeweled bow Aretha Franklin wore to Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. As you may recall, when Aretha died it was originally thought that her estate would be divided evenly among her four sons. Then Aretha hit us with a curve ball from beyond the grave with three (THREE!) handwritten wills, one of which was found tucked under the couch cushions. This complicated matters and, according to Vulture, Barack himself is now in the mix. He wants that hat and he’ll stop at nothing to get it!
If you think our current commander in chief is a petty, unhinged, narcissistic, troglodyte then, well, you’re right. But Barack is no saint either. He’s trying to steal a hat from a dead woman (via New York Times).
In court, though, the sons remain apart. Two of them, Edward and Kecalf, attended a recent hearing, where the judge considered whether to allow a distribution of some personal items as keepsakes to the sons but also to people like Barack Obama, who Mr. Bennett said has asked for the elaborate silver bow hat that Franklin wore to his first inauguration.
Edward and Kecalf sat separately throughout the proceeding. They did not speak to one another.
Oof. According to People, previous to Aretha’s death, the hat was briefly on loan to The Smithsonian and was displayed alongside Michelle Obama’s inauguration wardrobe. However, Vulture claims “there were reports that the Smithsonian had requested the hat, but after Franklin’s death the organization confirmed it would not include the piece in their collections” so needless to say, that hat’s a slut. And apparently, Aretha herself wanted to see it settle down and get married to Barack (via Vulture).
If Obama were to win custody of the hat, it would be in line with Franklin’s wishes, according to the man behind the topper, Luke Song of Mr. Song Millinery. Song told “Page Six”: “She told me she wanted it at the Barack Obama Presidential Library, and I think that is exactly where it should be … [Franklin] loved Obama, I know, and I personally couldn’t think of any better place for it.”
The Obama Presidential Center is supposed to break ground “in late 2020 at the absolute earliest” but from the sound of things, a gift of the hat may be delayed while the distribution of Aretha’s estate is finalized. In the meantime, we’ll always have the memes.
Now, take us out of this mess, Queen.
Pic: ABC News