Aretha Franklin on President Obama's "Respect" Flub: "Spelling and Giving It Is a Huge Difference"

Despite his misspelling of ladies anthem, "Respect," Aretha Franklin excused Obama for his mistake.

By Zach Johnson
|  Monday, Mar 10, 2014  |  Updated 11:20 AM PDT
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President Barack Obama speaks during the "In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul" in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 6, 2014, hosted by President Barack Obama, and first lady Michelle Obama. The program include performances by Patti LaBelle, Tessanne Chin, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Janelle Monae and Jill Scott.

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Aretha Franklin realizes everyone make mistakes--even the President of the United States.

After Barack Obama botched the spelling of "Respect" during the White House's Women of Soul Event last week, the Queen of Soul herself released a statement regarding the politician's flub. "I'm sure the President had much on his agenda and was just a little tired," Franklin told "E! News." "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."

Obama paid tribute to Franklin Thursday for turning the 1965 classic into "a rallying cry for African Americans, women and anyone else who felt marginalized because of what they looked like, who they loved." When he first introduced the singer, however, he misspelled "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" as "R-S-P-E-C-T."

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The audience laughed at his gaffe, but Obama soldiered on and continued to praise Franklin. "Later, when somebody asked her why it had such an impact, she said, 'I guess everybody just wants a little respect,'" the married father of two said during the show, airing in April on PBS. "Today, they still do."

Franklin, 71, and Obama, 52, go way back: she serenaded the crowd at his first inauguration in January 2009, and she sang during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in October 2011. Franklin also performed during the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony in December 2013.

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