Queen of Soul’s history-making wardrobe of sequins and furs go under the hammer.
Aretha Franklin’s voice established her reputation as the queen of soul, but her style was the stuff of legend. Last night fans had the chance to snap up more than 30 of her history-making looks at a fashion auction in New York.
Franklin, who was 76 when she died from cancer in August, was known for an elaborate and glitzy aesthetic, heavy on sequins, fur and feather boas. A public exhibition of her outfits was held at the Hard Rock Cafe last week before going under the hammer.
Highlights of the Julien’s Auctions collection included the red ruffled dress Franklin wore for a Radio City Music Hall concert in 1993, the denim crew jacket from the 1980 Blues Brothers film, in which she played Mrs Murphy, and the regal cream gown she wore to Bill Clinton’s nomination ball.
Franklin sang for three presidents – Jimmy Carter, Clinton and Barack Obama – and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W Bush in his second term.
She died without making a will, leaving her niece as the executor of her $80m estate.
More than 100 pink Cadillacs were part of her funeral procession in Detroit and the service stretched for eight hours in a church packed with 4,000 guests. In signature style, Franklin had three outfit changes for each public viewing, ahead of her funeral.
Martin Nolan, executive director of the sale, said the auction was “celebrating the tremendous talents, power and grace of America’s greatest singer of all time”.
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