Madonna addresses backlash after Aretha Franklin fans criticized her VMA speech

Junie Sihlangu
Aug 22, 2018
02:57 P.M.

On Monday at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna took to the stage to present the Video of the Year award. She took a moment to ‘tribute’ the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.


However, her speech ended up being more about herself that the legendary singer and fans retaliated on social media. The following day, the star took to Instagram to explain what had happened.

Aretha Franklin passed away last week at the age of 76. Many celebrities have sent their condolences and tributes to the fallen star.

This week, Madonna, 60, was tasked with presenting the Video of the Year award but before revealing that the winner was Camila Cabello, the singer made a ‘tribute’ to Franklin. While an image of the Queen of Soul was projected behind her, Madonna went into a lengthy speech.


For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. The speech consisted, mostly, of her own journey as a struggling musician.

Madonna shared that she sang Franklin's classic hit, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” a cappella during an audition. That led to the launch of her career where she moved to Paris and became a singer.

"Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life," she said. "I left Detroit when I was 18. Thirty-five dollars in my pocket. My dream was to make it as a professional dancer," the singer shared at the time.

“…none of this would have happened, could have happened, without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today. And I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight,” the musician continued.


She then thanked Franklin for empowering all of them. However, fans couldn’t understand why the tribute centered on Madonna instead of Franklin.

Many took to social media to berate the star for her speech. On Tuesday, Madonna set the record straight in an Instagram post where she congratulated Cabello for her award.

She clarified that the speech she had made was never meant to be a tribute. Madonna stated that MTV had asked her “to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin!"

She added that it “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."

Madonna said she felt some people had short attention spans and were just quick to judge.

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