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»Moonwalk« hat: »A symbol of the artist's personality and dancing talent«

Photo: Geoffrey van der Hasselt / AFP

A black felt hat that Michael Jackson wore at an important appearance has been auctioned for just under 78,000 euros. This was announced by the auction house Drouot in Paris. "The hat has become a symbol of the artist's personality and dancing talent," the catalogue said. He is therefore one of the "important elements of music history".

The fedora hat had become fashionable in the twenties and was later worn by jazz and blues musicians. Michael Jackson made the hat his trademark.

At the performance of »Billie Jean«, his most successful work from the album »Thriller«, Jackson brought his moonwalk to the stage for the first time at the Motown anniversary in 1983, a dance step in which he seems to glide backwards over ice. Michael took his hat at the end of his solo number ›Billie Jean‹ and threw it into the air. He fell to the ground not far from my seat," recalled spectator Adam L. Kelly.

More music devotional items auctioned off

The velvet lining of the hat reads "Michael Jackson" and "Motown 25" in gold lettering – an allusion to the anniversary concert. The Los Angeles-based company Maddest Hatter had designed hats for Michael Jackson several times. For the Motown concert, the star had expressly requested a "spy-style" hat, "something a secret agent would wear".

In addition to the hat, around 200 other music devotional items were auctioned, including a notebook of Madonna and a belt of Johnny Hallyday. A guitar by blues musician T-Bone Walker changed hands for about 130,000 euros.