Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk Hat For Sale

Henry

Just before doing his famous Moonwalk dance for the first time, Michael Jackson threw his hat to the side of the stage. Four decades later it is sold at auction in Paris.

The auction will take place on September 26 at the Hotel Drouot. The black fedora is expected to fetch between €60 000 and €100 000 (R1.2 million – R2 million).

Although the hat is the highlight of some 200 pieces of rock memorabilia, Arthur Perault, organizer of the Artpeges gallery, said valuations for Jackson items had recently started to drop “because of counterfeit goods and the accusations against him”.

Jackson was accused of child abuse. His heirs still oppose the accusations and the singer denied guilt until his death in 2009 at the age of 50.

The king of pop threw the hat to the side when he started his “Billie Jean” song during a Motown concert in 1983 that was broadcast live on television. Moments later, Jackson performed his signature move – the moonwalk – a seemingly effortless slide backwards while appearing to walk forwards.

A man named Adam Kelly picked up Jackson’s hat “thinking the singer’s staff would come get it later, but they didn’t”, according to Perault.

He kept the hat for years, but it ended up in the hands of a few private collectors before it was sent to Paris.

Martin Gore of Depeche Mode’s suit of clothes and one of Madonna’s gold records will also be sold at the auction.

Music memorabilia often fetches huge sums.

Co-organizers Lemon Auction last year sold a guitar that Noel Gallagher smashed when Oasis parted ways after a fight with his brother Liam. The guitar was sold for €385,500.

A string of items that belonged to Freddie Mercury, including the piano on which he composed “Bohemian Rhapsody”, fetched €46.5 million at Sotheby’s earlier this month. Buyers from more than 76 countries participated in the auction.