Wacko’s famous Moonwalk fedora up for sale

One of the most famous hats in showbiz, the black fedora worn by Michael Jackson for the very first performance of his iconic moonwalk, is up for grabs – if you have a few million rand to spare!

The late King of Pop famously tossed the hat off stage at a 1983 concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Motown record label moments before performing the moonwalk while singing “Billie Jean”.

The hat will be auctioned in Paris today, and is expected to fetch between €60 000 to €100 000 (R1,2 million to R2 million).

When the singer tossed the hat off stage, it was picked up by concertgoer Adam Kelly, who thought “(Michael Jackson’s) staff would come to collect it, but they didn’t”, said auctioneer Arthur Perault.

Adam kept the hat for many years, but eventually sold it, and it has passed through the hands of several private collectors before ending up on auction.

Sales of Michael Jackson memorabilia have declined over the years, said Arthur, because of the proliferation of fakes and the allegations of child abuse made against the singer in recent years. 

The black fedora is not the first hat belonging to the King of Pop to reach an auction block. 

Last year, North West, daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, wore the pop star’s cream-coloured fedora – made famous in his “Smooth Criminal” music video – for Halloween, along with Michael’s rhinestone jacket, which they had tailored to fit North.

Kim bought the fedora on auction for about $5 000 as a Christmas gift for North, along with the $65 000 jacket, saying her daughter was a “big fan” of Michael’s.

Lady Gaga, another MJ superfan, snapped up 55 pieces of memorabilia at a 2012 auction. She said at the time that the pieces “will be archived and expertly cared for in the spirit and love of Michael Jackson, his bravery, and fans worldwide.”

The socks Michael wore for the Motown concert were expected to fetch $1 million when they went under the hammer last year, said the auctioneers, but there were no takers for them.

The black loafers he wore at the concert were more popular, and sold for $80 000 in 2018, while at least four of his many signature single white gloves have fetched between $104 000 and $192 000 at various auctions.

The legend’s hat is not all that’ll be auctioned next week — more than 200 pieces of rock music memorabilia will be on the block, including a guitar owned by bluesman T-Bone Walker expected to fetch €150 000 (R3 million), a suit worn by Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore and one of Madonna’s gold records, among many other items. – News24.

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