The world is still mourning the passing of Aretha Franklin less than a week ago and on Monday, MTV aired a bizarre tribute to the Queen of Soul at the VMAs. Who did they choose to give it? Pop singer Madonna — who has received tons of backlash for her speech. Now she is responding.

Madge wrote on Instagram,  “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.” She continued, “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.” See below:

The 60-year-old appears to be missing the point. Even her “anecdotes” felt self-indulgent, saying she sang an Aretha song at an audition and she was just a “skinny-ass white girl” who lived in a crack house. It was awkward, confusing and appeared to have more to do with her than the Queen of Soul.

Toward the end she said, “So you’re probably all wondering why I’m telling you this story. There’s a connection, because none of this would’ve happened — could’ve 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, in this room tonight, and I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen.”

Watch below:

That said, according to TMZ, Aretha Franklin’s family did speak out and said they weren’t offended by Madonna’s speech.

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Madonna Defends Her Aretha Franklin Speech: ‘So Quick To Judge!’  was originally published on

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