Barack Obama Reportedly Wants The Hat Aretha Franklin Wore To His First Presidential Inauguration
Meanwhile, Aretha's sons are fighting over her money.
A very important name came up in the fight over Aretha Franklin’s estate: Barack Obama.
The New York Times reports the former president wants the hat Franklin wore to his first inauguration in 2009. The Queen of Soul wore the piece while she performed “My Country 'Tis of Thee.”
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The Times reports David J. Bennett, the primary lawyer representing Franklin’s estate, revealed the request during a court hearing. The hat was custom-made by Detroit-based designer Luke Song, who owns Mr. Song Millinery.
Franklin was a longtime customer of Song’s, and he told Page Six she wanted to donate the hat to Obama’s forthcoming presidential library.
“She told me she wanted it at the Barack Obama Presidential Library, and I think that is exactly where it should be,” Song said last year. “[Franklin] loved Obama, I know, and I personally couldn’t think of any better place for it.”
The construction for the Obama Presidential Center is scheduled to begin in late 2020 on the Southside of Chicago, according to The Cut.
The hat is a relatively small component in the ongoing conflict over the “Respect” singer’s estate. When she died in August 2018, Frankin’s assets were supposed to be split evenly among her four sons. The proceedings became complicated when three handwritten wills were discovered in her home in May, nine months after her death. The wills have been under review to determine their validity. Since they were not written at the same time, the court will also determine which one, if any, will be followed.
Additionally, uncashed checks worth almost $1 million were unearthed during a recent inventory, according to Billboard.
“It is totally unacceptable that it has taken a year for the heirs to begin find out what their mother owned on the date of her death,” said lawyers Charlene Glover-Hogan and Juanita Gavin Hughses, who represent her son Kecalf. “To date, the heirs still do not know what was owned on Aretha Franklin’s date of death.”