VMAs: Madonna bashed over Aretha Franklin 'tribute'

Aretha Franklin in the early 1970s
Credit
Andrew Kent

The tribute started with a short clip of the Queen of Soul, who passed away last week aged 76 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, singing. Far more accused her of making the show's only tribute to Franklin all about herself. "She led me to where I am today", Madonna said.

As MTV's Video Music Awards took place just days following the singer's death, it made sense that the awards show would pay tribute to the late great as well.

She told the story of how she showed up for the audition and nailed the dancing part - but had completely forgotten to prepare sheet music for a song to sing. To illustrate that point, I've bolded every instance in which Madonna references herself.

Madonna and MTV have yet to address what the hell they were thinking, but we imagine that an apology statement will be released soon.

"None of this would have happened without our lady of soul", Madonna said. Madonna stepped out on the stage at the VMAs adorned in a graduation robe and what looks like everything from her jewelry box paid homage to the Queen of Soul...but it wasn't the tribute many people had in mind. "The worst that can happen is I can go back to getting robbed, held at gunpoint and being mistaken for a prostitute in my third-floor walk-up that was also a crackhouse.' That's right, I'm a 'Rebel Heart'". He replied, "We think you have great potential". I blurted out, 'You make me feel.' Silence. We want to bring you to Paris and make you a star.

She then attempted to justify why she was telling this story with a big backdrop of Franklin behind her.

"None of this could have happened, would have happened, without this lady of soul", Madonna said, of her own rise.

"So, that was the beginning of my journey as a singer".

Other musicians were promoting better messages at the VMAs. If this was Madge trying to get us to scream, "Just stop and sing an Aretha Franklin song instead", at the screen, it worked, because that's exactly what I screamed'. "The rest is history". "R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the Queen", Madonna added.

Madonna presents the award for video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, in NY.

The backlash to Madonna's lack of self-awareness was swift, with hundreds of people taking to Twitter to dissect the tribute and many describing it as "disrespectful". On top of that, her outfit was criticized as culturally appropriative.

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