A gown owned by Aretha Franklin sold for $10,000 at the Hard Rock Cafe’s “Icons & Idols: Rock-N-Roll” by Julien’s Auctions in New York City.
More than 30 items of clothing owned by the legendary Queen of Soul, who died from pancreatic cancer at age 76 in August, were sold by the auctioneers alongside possessions that belonged to the likes of Prince, Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, The Beatles and Michael Jackson, among others.
It was Franklin’s pink silk two-piece, Bill Blass-designed dress, which she wore at the Duets concert AIDS benefit in 1993, that attracted the big sum.
Alongside the outfit, the “Natural Woman” hitmaker’s black chiffon romper, that was adorned with glittering sequins, and a ruffled knee-length red dress designed by Arnold Scassi, which was worn by the singer in 1991 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, banked $7,500.
The “I Say a Little Prayer” chart-topper’s iconic wardrobe struck gold again when a three-piece white evening gown and coat — which were worn at the Arista Records pre-party for the 40th Annual Grammy Awards in February 1998 and again at the Radio City Music Hall — sold for $8,750.
Franklin’s clothes were a late addition to the sale, and memorabilia dealer Martin Nolan only included the garments after receiving a phone call from someone representing her estate.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan said: “It was completely unexpected. We’ve had the dates for this auction set since last May, so once we received these items in early September, we really needed to scramble to get everything photographed and included in a way that felt like we were doing right by her.”
The auction featured more than 800 items of music memorabilia and proceeds were going to Prince Charles’ charity, the Prince’s Trust, which aims to help disadvantaged young people in the UK.
One of the event’s biggest purchases during the two-part auction was the legendary jacket worn by Jackson in his 1980s “Bad World Tour,” which fetched a staggering $300,000 when put under the hammer.