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The evolution of Jamiroquai’s hats

Jamiroquai’s known for many things - epic funk-filled tunes that get stuck in your head for weeks, a penchant for fast cars and of course, a collection of hats that would make anyone jealous. To celebrate their headline slot on Saturday at this year’s ONBlackheath we’re taking a look back at some of Jay Kay’s most memorable headgear. 

Back in 1992 Jamiroquai began their career performing in the British club scene, and released ‘When You Gonna Learn’ as their debut single. Following the success of the single, they signed a recording deal with major label, Sony Soho. Their debut album, ‘Emergency on Planet Earth’ entered the UK charts at Number 1, shifting a huge 1.3 million copies worldwide. 

Take a look at the fresh-faced Jay Kay below when he first burst onto the scene sporting one of his many infamous hats. 

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Jamiroquai’s third single ‘Blow Your Mind’ released in 1993, saw the singer sporting this furry little number. Practical for the winter? Definitely. Looks like it would make you sweat on stage? 100%, but that’s the beauty of it. 

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Just a year later the band released their second studio album, ‘The Return of the Space Cowboy’ with the lead single, ‘Space Cowboy’. 

Show us another person who can pull off a two-hat combination like this, you can’t. 

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‘Virtual Insanity’ is undoubtedly Jamiroquai’s best known music video - earning ten nominations and walking away with four gongs at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. 

It’s not just the famous floor moving that makes this one of their most iconic videos either, how many of you remember this oversized hat? When speaking to Rolling Stone, when asked where the hat was now Jay Kay said: “That hat I gave - and every now and again I kick myself for it - but then again sometimes it’s nice to let things go. I gave that to a guy called Ken who worked very hard at the Japanese record company at the time, when we were just, like, the biggest-selling non-Japanese artist in the world. He worked so hard and what have you, I gave it to him."

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Jamiroquai took to the stage on one of the biggest chat shows in the US in 1997, performing ‘Alright’ and chatting to Jay Leno - Jay Kay debuted this sublime… birds nest? Flowers? Ruffles? We don’t know what it is but we want it. Speaking to Jay he said: “That hat was given to me by a fellow in Brazil who worked on a TV show and he came and said ‘I want you to have this hat’ and I looked at him and said mmm that’s really nice and after I decided it was really nice, I put it on my head and I liked it.”

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Although not the most ‘out there’ creation Jay Kay’s known for wearing, the Gotcha beanie he wore in the ‘Canned Heat’ video still deserves to be on the list. Taken from their fourth studio album, ‘Synkronized’ the song peaked at Number 4 in the UK. 

2005 saw Jay Kay attend the MTV Video Music Awards again in Miami, Florida. This time, he sported this rather fetching peacock borsalino.  

In more recent years, we’ve seen Jamiroquai sporting some more up to date headgear in the form of this Indian ‘Statue of Liberty’ - as their sound evolves, so do the hats!

The ‘Automaton’ era which began in 2017 saw yet another upgraded version to Jay’s hat wardrobe. This LED masterpiece is said to be inspired by the endangered pangolin. The London designed Moritz Waldemeyer created sections that individually move and light up to recreate the pangolin scales. 

Jamiroquai headline Saturday at this year’s ONBlackheath festival. Make sure you book your tickets now to catch them at their only UK show of 2019 on the beautiful Heath. 

Tickets are on sale now, here