Obama Tried to Spell Aretha Franklin’s ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ Thursday Night, but It Didn’t Go Well

All she’s asking for is a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t. And while President Obama gave it to Aretha Franklin Thursday night while heaping praise on the singer, he failed to give it while trying to mimic the soul queen’s famous line.

Before a concert at the White House to honor women of soul music, Obama delivered some remarks. He hit a sour note when he tried his hand at spelling Franklins famed “respect.”

“When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her,” Obama said, adding an inquisitive tone as if he realized the mistake. But he kept going, even despite copious laughter.

“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.”