This past Thursday, President Obama experienced an “oops” moment during a star-studded, soul-themed concert at the White House, when he accidentally misspelled the title of Aretha Franklin‘s signature anthem “Respect” during an introduction speech.
The president was greeted by laughter from the audience after he said, “When Aretha 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.”
Now, the Queen of Soul, who performed at the concert, has issued a statement in response to Obama’s gaff, making clear that it’s hasn’t diminished any of the esteem she feels toward the president.
“I’m sure the President had much on his agenda and was just a little tired,” says Franklin. “However, spelling and giving it, is a huge difference. The President and I are mutual when it comes to R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”
Franklin performed her classic song “I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You)” during the concert, which was taped for a new episode of PBS’ In Performance at the White House series subtitled Women of Soul that’s scheduled to premiere April 7 at 9 p.m. ET. The president, along with first lady Michele Obama, also were treated to performances by Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, Ariana Grande and Tessanne Chin at the show.
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