[WATCH] ‘R-S-P-E-C-T?’: Obama flubs spelling of classic Aretha song at White House concert

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Whoops! President Barack Obama proved that he’s not the world’s best speller Thursday night, hilariously misspelling the title of Aretha Franklin’s classic song “Respect” during his opening speech at the “In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul” concert.

“When Aretha first told us what ‘R-S … P-E-C-T’ meant to her,” he said to roaring laughter from the audience, “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.”

“Later, when somebody asked her why it had such an impact, she said, ‘I guess everybody just wants a little respect.’ Today, they still do,” he continued.

The concert, which will be aired on PBS on April 7, honored an array of soul singers spanning the generations from Franklin and Patti LaBelle to 20-year-old Ariana Grande. All three of the women sang at the concert, along with Melissa Etheridge, Tessane Chin, Jill Scott, and Janelle Monae.

Watch Obama’s spelling gaffe below.


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