Obama 'R-S-P-E-C-T': President Misspells Iconic Song (Video)

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Monday, 10 Mar 2014 11:33 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Quoting a popular song, President Barack Obama accidentally spelled it "R-S-P-E-C-T," missing the first "E," Thursday night during the White House's Women of Soul event, which featured R&B legends Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle, as well as newcomer Ariana Grande, among others.

"What a lineup!" Obama declared at the outset of the concert, claiming that Franklin's famous song "Respect" was a "rallying cry for African-Americans, women, and then everyone who felt marginalized," The Associated Press reported.

The Obama-loving crowd didn't seem to care that the president spelled the oft-repeated chorus "R-S-P-E-C-T," and 69-year-old LaBelle soon after told the Commander-in-Chief, "Baby, you got swag!"

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One of the evening's high points came when the 71-year-old Franklin declared "Let's have a party" while shimmying back and forth on stage before breaking into the songs "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" and "Amazing Grace."

Other singers who were on hand at the event were Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, and Tessanne Chin, who together performed the song "Proud Mary."

The concert was part of a monthlong celebration for Women's History Month, which is March.

"As someone who always shares this house with brilliant, creative, talented, somewhat stubborn women, I think Women's History Month is the perfect time to honor a few more: the women of soul," Obama told the audience as he introduced the famous singers.

One of those women to whom Obama was referring, first lady Michelle Obama, subsequently took the stage and used the opportunity to offer some advice to all the young women who were watching the concert as it aired live on WhiteHouse.gov.

"Find your own voice and be proud of it," Michelle Obama said. "And then, sing your butt off. Or work your butt off. Or whatever you do, do it until your butt comes off. "

"OK, that quote is going to be kind of funny in the papers. I already know it. My communications people are like, 'What?' But you guys all know what I meant — be good at what you do," Obama added in an attempt to clarify her statement before it was misconstrued.

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