The Queen of Soul’s outrageous headgear choices did not begin with that monstrosity she wore at President Obama’s inauguration, as this clip from the 1983 American Music Awards makes abundantly clear. When accepting the award for Favorite Soul Album, she is seen wearing a…a…a…well, I’ll just let you look for yourself.

The other nominees in the category were Rick James’ “Throwin’ Down” (Rick had actually won in the same category the previous year) and Stevie Wonder’s “Original Musicquarium 1”. 1982 was apparently a pretty barren year for soul music because, truthfully, I can barely think of any other albums that would have even qualified for the award. Most of the iconic R&B albums of that particular year came out in the last quarter-Marvin Gaye’s “Midnight Love”, Lionel Richie’s debut solo release, Chaka Khan’s excellent self-titled effort (which featured a cover of MJ’s “Got to Be There”), Luther’s “Forever, For Always, For Love” and a little album called “Thriller”.

Apparently, the AMA folks tried a little experiment with the reading of the nominations by reading them out twice. I’m pretty sure this was the only year they did it. As you can see from Stevie’s reaction when his name is called the second time, things got a little confusing.

How come Aretha can’t pronounce the name of her own damn record company?

Thankfully, Reefa lost the headgear when it came time for her performance. What’s up with the band in that tiered diagram? If I was on that top tier, I’d have been scared shitless!

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