Aretha Franklin says Obama knows ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ Aretha Franklin says Obama knows ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ Associated Press file photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta -- President Barack Obama speaks March 6 during the 'In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul' in the East Room of the White House in Washington, hosted by the president and first lady Michelle Obama. The program included performances by Patti LaBelle, Tessanne Chin, Melissa Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, Janelle Monáe and Jill Scott. The associated Press March 11, 2014 Comments NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin has much R-E-S-P-E-C-T for President Barack Obama — regardless of his spelling skills. At a White House concert last Thursday, Obama dropped the initial “E” when trying to spell out “respect” as the queen of soul does in her famous song. “I’m sure the President had much on his agenda and was just a little tired,” the 71-year-old singer said in a statement Monday. The concert included Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Melissa Etheridge, Janelle Monae, Ariana Grande and Jill Scott. Franklin says no offense was taken. “The President and I are mutual when it comes to R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” she said.