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Madonna on Tuesday responded to criticism of her tribute to Aretha Franklin at the MTV Video Music Awards, saying she “did not intend to do a tribute to her,” but was asked by producers to “share any anecdotes” she had about the late singer.

Social media lacerated Madonna’s VMA speech for using the occasion to recall the origins of her own career and how it took off due to a failed audition singing Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Twitter users took issue with the singer’s focus on herself more than the Queen of Soul.

She did bring it back around to Franklin at the end of her speech, when she added, “I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen.” But for most folks on social media – it was too little, too late.

Taking to Instagram with congrats for video of the year winner Camila Cabello, Madonna explained her intentions with the segment.

“Just to clarify: I was asked to present video of the year by MTV!,” she wrote. “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!”

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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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10 thoughts on “Madonna Addresses Aretha Franklin Tribute Backlash: ‘They Asked Me To Share Any Anecdotes’

  1. Madonna wasn’t asked to do a tribute to the Queen. She was there to present an award. She decided to share a story about her experience involving Aretha Franklin as many others have done, including Stevie Wonder. It was a really nice story, not a tribute. Once again, much ado about absolutely nothing.

  2. Passing Through!! on said:

    No surprise this is what happens when whites are in control. I only peeked at the MTV awards for the Aretha tribute but found myself flipping back and forth due to lack of interest. The tribute was a 100% FAIL and a disappointment. The Queen of Soul was worth more than some b.s. memory lane story told by Madonna.

      • Passing Through!! on said:

        americanize….I remember back in the day when the artist use to diss the Soul Train awards to flock to the white award shows. I was happy see so many musicians didn’t show for the MTV awards. We need to learn to support our own shows.

  3. That whole show was a damn joke. And i didn’t watch it. I saw the line up. The big names didn’t come and the ppl who were there I’ve never heard of. It sound like a waste of airtime

  4. Do NOT invite Madge to speak at anymore TRIBUTES to famous PEOPLE OF COLOR!!!!!
    She has a tendency to run off at the mouth, and BLOW HER OWN HORN,

    IT AINT ABOUT YOUR ASS MADONNA—GO SIT YOUR ASS DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Judy Lucero of Jaffrey, NH on said:

    Madonna, here is what a tribute to Aretha Franklin is supposed to look like…

    A Tribute to Aretha Franklin 16 Aug 2018

    A Conversation with Jimmy Lee

    “Jimmy Lee”, maybe “I Am a Fool” or just “Daydreaming”, but can’t you see “This Girl’s in Love with you”! I’m “Hooked on Your Love”! You better “Think” about this and “Let Me in Your Life”! You need to “Share Your Love with Me”, because “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You”! “Oh Me, Oh My”, “You Make Me Feel like a Natural Woman”, and I think you are “Wonderful”! “Come to Me”, so we can be “United Together”, and “Love All the Hurt Away”! “I’m In Love” and “Until You Come Back to Me” I’m going to be an “Angel”. What else can I say…I am just a “Do Right, Woman”!

    “When You Get Right Down To It”, just “Break It to Me Gently”, because I don’t want to “Jump” into a “Half Love’. “Why Can’t You Just See Me” because “You Made Me Love You”! ” I Surrender, Dear”, because like a “Bridge Over Troubled Water” I know it “Won’t Be Long” before you’ll be making a housecall to me like “Dr. Feel-Good” seeking some “Satisfaction” and “Something He Can Feel”.

    Understand, “Ain’t No Way” I am going to be a link in your “Chain of Fools” like “Suzanne” or “Eleanor Rigby”. I am not into playing games, like “Who’s Zooming Who” on the “Freeway of Love”. You told me you were the “Son of a Preacher Man”, but “I Say a Little Prayer” for you every day, because you really believe “Every Girl wants My Guy”!

    “Baby, I Love You”, so “Call Me” after you “Get it Right”. “Look Into Your Heart” and recognize that I am a queen and show me some “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”!
    Written By: Mrs. Judy Lucero

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