Here’s the Story Behind Aretha Franklin Holding Her Heels Onstage at the 1983 AMAs

Aretha Franklin, who died today at the age of 76 after years of health woes, will be remembered for many reasons — her music, for one. Lest we forget the grand diva was never one to miss an opportunity to bring glamour to the stage, where for many years — including through her ’70s — she had left a mark with her style.

In fact, when the Queen of Soul attended the 1983 American Music Awards she thanked many of her colleagues for contributing to her award for Favorite Soul Album. Keeping things short and sweet on the stage, she said: “I’d like to thank my producer, Mr. Luther Vandross, Arista records, the promotional staff and Mr. Clive Davis.”

One name that wasn’t left out from her time on stage was designer Stuart Weitzman. The Queen of Soul paid tribute to the king of red carpet soles by brandishing a pair of bespoke heels that he made for her special day. While at the microphone, her award was in one hand, and a pair of heels in the other.

A representative from the brand tells FN that Weitzman himself was sent a picture of Franklin’s dress and was asked for something to go with it. He then personally designed a pair of d’Orsay pumps called Sunset Strips, of which the style later joined the Weitzman line and became one of the brand’s best-selling shoes, according to the representative.

Look closer and you’ll notice the footbed emblazoned with “Stuart Weitzman for Mr. Seymour.” At the time it was produced under Weitzman’s father’s Mr. Seymour line, which is why it was named Stuart Weitzman for Mr. Seymour.

Ultimately, the brand changed to Stuart Weitzman.

Want more?

Aretha Franklin Passes Away at 76: A Look Back at Her Love of Sparkly Shoes and Pearls

Check out more of Aretha Franklin’s best shoe style moments through the years.

Access exclusive content