Famous folksFashionLetters

A Love Letter to Mama Retha’s Inauguration Hat

Because Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration hat was everything.

Aretha Franklin Hat

Aretha: Mmhmm! You can’t tell me SH*T. I know you see me! Don’t hate. Appreciate.

Dearest Ms. Franklin’s Hat,

You came, you sang (on top of Re-Re’s head), and you conquered (the hearts of a whole nation. Hell, a world). You somehow came to overshadow the swearing in of the Beloved One. Why? because you are so fierce. You were FIERCER than Prince at a MAC counter, RuPaul after a new wig, and Ne-Yo after his application of Juicy Tubes.

You have become a legend in your own right. When I first see’d you, on that TV screen, I KNEWed there was a fashion GAWD (who grew up in a southern baptist church)! I almost fell out raht where I was at in sheer glee. I stared in all your Crystalized and BOWed glory, for what I was seeing was larger than life itself.

It was a church hat that was open casket AND church bazaar shaaaaap. When Sister O’Dell and the rest of the head ushers were hating on you, I told them to SHUT THEY MOUFS WIDE OPEN because no ILL must be said of you. They were just mad because their white gloves were turning murky, to the color of hot dog water. Hating Heffas. But I digress…

Then, I went on Facebook today, and saw that someone created a fan page for you called “Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Hat”. I just about dahd and rolled on the floor as I lamented the fact that I had not created this page for you. Then I demanded to be made the President of your fan club. *Sigh* Alls I know is that whoever made that page for you is my new favorite person in the world AND my archnemesis at the same time, for beating me to it.

As Mama Re-Re sang her song, and moved, bob and weaved, you stayed perched on top of her dome, not wavering in your support OR your fierceness. I was impressed. Hattie (I hope you like that name. I give all my loved ones pseudonyms), my spirit is moved. My life has changed. My destiny took the path less taken. You deserve ALL the R-E-S-P-E-C-T we can offer. Did you ever know that you my hero?

As the fan page description said:

“A glimmering vision of hope outshining the sun on a certain cold wintry day in January, tears of joy and the swell of optimism bursting from two million citizens’ hearts as they focus their expectant gaze in one direction… you know what we are talking about and that is why you are here. To celebrate this vision of change, this paradigm shift, this sparkling, glittering vision, yes… Aretha Franklin’s inauguration hat.”

I couldn’t have said it better.

Hattie, if you were a car, you’d be a long stretch limousine with room for all of humanity inside (shoutouts to India.Arie’s “Complicated Melody”). Word.life.

So sincerely & with highest regards,


Edit: If you would also like to craft your own letter for Hattie, please do so in the comments. It would appreciate it much.

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  1. NaturallyAlise
    January 25, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    If her hat was a blog it would be youknowyoudeadazzwrong.blogspot.com, lol, shouts to Durty Mo! Luv-Boogie, you made me cackle fo sho!

  2. Nikki Wadley
    January 25, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Now, this took some imagination. I now a fan of your writing. And, yes, the hat was fierce. I was so relieved that Aretha didn’t wear some kind of feather-covered ensemble. I am so proud that she dressed herself with dignity and class for such a historic event. The Hat is now part of history!

  3. ladebelle
    January 25, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    this is sooooo ridiculous!!! however, the hat was definitely more fab then her singing that day… **shudders at thought of off-tone notes**

  4. Rolake
    January 25, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    BWAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhahAHAHAHAHAHAHA…lmao im supposed to be studying and im tittering instead at this tomfoolery…i saw the hat and had a fit..completely ignored her terrible singing( i just put that to cold air..hopefully)….”color of hot dog water”…ridiculous….love it…u should write a note to mariah carey’s see through dress….or beyonces singing at the ball…making me sick.

  5. sarahPUFFY!
    January 25, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    OMG, we got to watch the inaguration at school…and I SWEAR, I was fuckin DYIN in my seat cos I was literally laughing my ass off at the sight of her hat. THAT IS A CLASSIC CHURCH HAT IF I EVER SAW ONE.

    By the time she opened her mouth I was already crying because lord knows no one knew what the hell she was saying. I LOVED that she told someone to shut up in the middle, too – that was the only time I understood her!

    Woo, God bless Aretha. Heh heh!

  6. suga
    January 26, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Luvvie, you are a hot mess multiplied by 12 for this right here. Got my stomach hurting and eyes a-watering and er’thang. *smh*

  7. Reggie
    January 26, 2009 at 1:48 am


    This was the funniest shit I seen ALL DAY!!!!!!!

    And you know how much I love fuckery, hell I write it!!!!!

    Great one, L!!!!!!!

  8. The Pretty Brown Girl
    January 26, 2009 at 8:32 am

    You know what…iCan’t. I just can’t. You got me all teary-eyed w/my abs burning from laughter on an early Monday morning. I need Mother Re-Re’s hat to come give me CPR, stat! That hat is all powerful.

  9. She Gave Me the Keys
    January 26, 2009 at 8:50 am


    *takes keyboard, smashes it through monitor and throws monitor at co-worker DONE*

    wait. Aretha was singing? I didn’t hear any of that. I just heard the hat…

  10. Christopher B. Thomas
    January 26, 2009 at 9:46 am

    LOL! I thought I was the only one thinking that that hat was taking over her head. I thought sparkles were gonna go flying out and shit…lol

  11. LibraSong
    January 26, 2009 at 10:33 am

    everything is wrong with you. *dead* and p.s. my little word verification thing is ‘EQUESHO’ so i’m just gonna throw this out there – your blog is racist.

  12. thefabulousgiver
    January 26, 2009 at 11:09 am

    LMAO…LMAO…LMAO!!! You are crazy! But, I’m glad there are others who were inspired by Mama Re-Re’s hat!

  13. K to the...
    January 26, 2009 at 11:16 am

    “When I first see’d you, on that TV screen, I KNEW’ed there was a fashion GAWD….”

    OMG…Ignance was does reign supreme. I swear, I used “KNEW’ed” yesterday as if it could be found in Webster’s finest collection of definitions and even spelled it out. lol This letter is hilarious!

  14. Anonymous
    January 26, 2009 at 11:31 am

    uhm Luvvie and ‘she gave me the keys’ I am going to have to ask the union to help me keep my job now. cackling my ssa off


  15. The Pretty Brown Girl
    January 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    My Letter to Hattie, as transcribed from the Facebook Fan Page:

    Dear Mother Aretha’s Hat,

    I was overwhelmed in the spirit of change, hope and pride of humanity of the Inauguration of President Barak Obama. I became short of breath and subsequently light-headed and dizzy in my patriotic fervor. But when you took the podium, perched ever so gently upon the head of the Queen of Soul, you gave me life. I stand here today because of you and your aura of love. My lifespace will be ever be complete because you came to be. I love you Hattie.

    Much love,

  16. Jack and Jill
    January 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I SO enjoy that someone made a facebook page for that hat. I must go seek it out.

    Also, I told Jack I’d be getting one of these hats. He didn’t like the idea. What a jerk.


  17. sabrina
    January 27, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    The funny part that there is more than 1 FB page!

  18. Luvologist
    January 28, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I loved the way Hattie stood loud and proud.


  19. Ms_Slim
    January 30, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Oh that hat was a “sight to behoooold” (c) LBoogie lol. I remember when she came up on the screen, I was like, *sigh* “Aretha never fails, does she? Like…not even on INAUGURATION DAY!!!” hahaha

    Somebody shoulda told her lol

  20. Luvvie (aka Queen IG)
    January 30, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Thank ya all for the kind words. I (and Hattie) appreciate the support. Keep the hope alive!! lol

  21. Anonymous
    February 1, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I love you, Luvvie! You are hilarious girl, you bring a smile to my face and joy to my day!

  22. The Incomparable Bozack Jenkins™
    March 2, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Awwwww damn………

  23. thismayconcernyou.com
    March 7, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    This is the type of foolishness that I love … I will direct people to this letter specifically from my blog.

    What’s funny, though, is that I didn’t even notice the hat that much at first. I’m so used to seeing them in the church that it didn’t faze me until a white person asked me about it the next day. lol. But yeah, the bow from that hat belongs on some kids wrapped up bike of a Christmas present.

  24. […] *Letter to the hat – An ode to Aretha Franklin’s hat, which stole the show and thunder of President Obama’s inauguration. That hat stole the heart of a nation. So I had to write to it and thank it. […]