Cicely Tyson and Lana Turner Had the Best Hats at Aretha Franklin's Funeral [Updated]


Without question, the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin, loved her headwear—so much so that her hats are often burned into our collective memory of landmark events. Who could forget that gray felt cap with a rhinestone bow from her performance at President Obama’s inauguration?

At Franklin’s funeral Friday, August 31, at the Greater Grace Tempe in Detroit, Michigan, Aretha’s family, friends, fans and loved ones paid tribute to her in more ways than one—including in their hat choices—but no one topped Cicely Tyson and a particularly charismatic fan in that department. From most predictable to the most striking, here are all the best headwear looks from the memorial.

Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson—potentially the only young singer Aretha actually enjoyed, or at least, tolerated (Franklin infamously told press in 2014, “Jennifer Hudson is coming along nicely”)—opted for a simple black fascinator, as is typical of funerals. It’s a nice touch.


Fantasia, like Hudson, also rocked a black fascinator. They differ slightly—in place of a rose, Fantasia’s headwear boasts fish net detailing. It also goes really, really well with her sleek retro dress and matching shawl.

Cicely Tyson

Add “purveyor of the perfect goth fit” to award-winning actor Cicely Tyson’s long list of accomplishments. This incredible hat is as confounding as it is artful, and might be my favorite of the day. It’s full body coverage.

This fan

She did that.

Update, 9/4/18: The identity of the “unnamed fan” and best hat-wearer is, according to an email sent by her son, the very stylish Lana Turner of Harlem!

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