Madonna On VMA’s Aretha Franklin Tribute: “I Did Not Intend To Do A Tribute”
Madonna caused major controversy after the artist gave what was supposed to be a tribute to the late Aretha Franklin at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 20. Fans griped that the speech had very little to do with the Queen of Soul and more to do with Madonna, but the singer released a statement on Instagram on Tuesday (Aug. 21), explaining that it was not her intention at all.
During Madonna’s speech, she recalled an instance in which Franklin influenced her career. She went on for several minutes about one of her first auditions where she performed Franklin’s hit single “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and how she was often mistaken as a prostitute in the early stages of her career. She hardly mentioned Franklin’s legacy or impact on the music industry as a whole until the end of her monologue.
Following the backlash, Madonna revealed that she never intended to give a tribute and was simply told to speak from her perspective. “I was asked to present video of the year by MTV. And then they asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin,” Madonna wrote next to a picture of her and Camila Cabello. “I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way. I did not intend to do a tribute to her! That would be impossible in two minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show. I could never do her justice in this context or environment.”
She also attributed the misunderstanding to people’s “short attention spans.” “Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge,” she added, before honoring Franklin. “I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”
This wouldn’t be the first time Madonna seemingly butchered a tribute. The singer also faced backlash after giving questionable tributes to Prince at the at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards and Michael Jackson at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
Hopefully, Aretha Franklin will get the tribute she deserves at the next awards show.
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Im with the Winner!! The beautiful @camila_cabello ! So proud of her! 🌈💕🎉. And just to clarify: I was asked to present video of the year by MTV! And then they asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin! I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way. I did not intend to do a tribute to her! That would be impossible in 2 minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show. I could never do her justice in this context or environment. Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge. I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T. 🙏🏼. I Love Camilla! Congrats! I LOVE my dress! AND. I love-L O V E!! ♥️ and there is nothing anyone can say or do that will change that. #vmas #postivevibes
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