Obama misspells ‘Respect’ During Women Of Soul concert
The president awkwardly bungled the title of the Aretha Franklin hit R-E-S-P-E-C-T while hosting the Women of Soul concert at the White House
President Barack Obama awkwardly bungled the title of the Aretha Franklin hit R-E-S-P-E-C-T while hosting the Women of Soul concert at the White House on Thursday, drawing laughter.
“When Aretha [Franklin] first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her, she had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African Americans, and women, and then everyone who felt marginalized because of what they looked like or who they loved. They wanted some respect,” Obama said, to a roar of laughter.
“What a lineup!” Obama declared at the outset of a concert that featured a generations-spanning array of soul singers that stretched from musical legends Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle to 20-year-old Ariana Grande.
First up in the East Room lineup was LaBelle, with a thundering delivery of “Over the Rainbow” that had the audience on its feet.
It was a mutual admiration society of sorts as LaBelle thanked the Obamas for their tenure in the White House, declaring, “Baby, you got swag!”
Grande, the youngster in the group, seemed in awe of her fellow performers and the august audience. Her lead-in: “What’s up? How are you? Good to see you. Thank you for having me.”
The emotional high point came when Franklin, 71, sauntered in, gave a shimmy and declared “Let’s have a party.” Then she went right into “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”
Also in the lineup: Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott and Tessanne Chin.
The program was livestreamed at WhiteHouse.gov/live and will be broadcast as an “In Performance at the White House” concert on April 7 on PBS.