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Why is Gregory Porter wearing a hat? Why the Jools Holland jazz singer always wears a hat and a balaclava

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The Grammy Award-winning jazz singer says the hat has become his “signature rock look”

Gregory Porter performing on day 2 of the V Festival in Hylands Park (Photo: Tristan Fewings / Getty Images)

After releasing his first album at nearly 40, Gregory Porter has gone on to become one of the biggest names in jazz, with his albums winning multiple Grammy Awards.

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Why is he always wearing a hat?

When asked Weekly jazz in 2012 why he’s wearing his iconic hat, which is a black Kangol Summer Spitfire that’s been fitted with a modified strap to be exact, he said: “I had surgery on my skin so this is my look for a little while and will be for a little longer.

In an interview with the Independent in 2016, Porter added that the cap had become his “signature rock look.”

He said: “I am famous for the hat at airports.

“In the UK they know me pretty well but they don’t give me a free pass, I am fully vetted and secure.”

Gregory Porter on stage at the Nice Jazz Festival in 2018 (Photo: VALERY HACHE / AFP via Getty Images)

In a more recent interview with MetroPorter said, “It started off covering some of the scars from the surgery, but it became my style.

“I was in Denver and it was cold. I wore five layers of clothing and wore a hat.

“It warmed up and I thought, ‘Actually, it’s comfortable, it’s a look.’

“I started singing at a jazz club in Denver and people were like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the guy with the hat’, so it became a thing. “

He added: “The one time I was not recognized I took off my hat to swim in the ocean in Ibiza and no one recognized me. I went back to my hotel and put on my hat… and there was Gregory Porter.

“But it’s okay, because some people are trying to log in and take a picture and say thank you for the joy they had. I really agree with that and I always honor people and they honor me by coming to my concerts. I am grateful.”

What operation did he undergo on his face?

Porter never gave details of his facial scars, and he told the BBC in 2015 that he was trying to “focus less on the picture and less on my hat and more on my heart and my sound.”

Talk to Telegraph in 2016, Porter said he received facial scars around “seven or eight” but declined to go into details.

Gregory Porter sings for Magic FM to benefit Macmillan Cancer Support (Photo: John Phillips / Getty Images)

He said, “I just saw him one day and I said, ‘I’m going to put this on, I like that’. It was before the musical career.

“I was making soup. I was talking to girls. “This is my look” and they were like “ooh, this is different”.

Porter has reassured fans in the past that the hat never gets hot or itchy, and he has a number of choices to choose from.

Who is Grégory Porter?

Porter is an American singer, songwriter and actor who has twice won a Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz Album, the first in 2014 for the album Liquid spirit and again in 2017 for Take me down the alley.

Born November 4, 1971, he grew up in California with his mother Pastor Ruth and his seven siblings.

Talk to Jazz Hours in 2019, Porter explained that his father had been away most of his life.

He said: “Everyone had problems with their father, even though he was at home. He may have been emotionally absent. My father was totally absent.

“I spent time with him a few days in my life. And it wasn’t long. He didn’t seem to be completely interested in being there.

“Maybe he was, I don’t know.”

Gregory Porter at the MOBO Outstanding Contribution To Music Award announcement at the Gresham Center (Photo: Joe Maher / Getty Images)

Porter rose to fame in the 2010s after signing with Blue Note Records, under Universal Music Group, in 2013, after which he won two Grammys.

In 2016 Porter performed at the Glastonbury Festival and then later that same year performed at Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park.

The following year, he performed his song Hold on during the Graham Norton Show and in 2017 starred in Later… with Jools Holland: Later 25 at the Royal Albert Hall.

On New Years Eve 2021, Porter performed the Jools Annual Hootenanny.

Porter is married to his wife Victoria, and the couple have two songs together, Demyan and Lev.

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