Madonna has responded to critics of her VMAs tribute to Aretha Franklin, who branded it “self-indulgent”.
In a statement on her Instagram the singer defended her speech, saying it wasn’t a tribute but an “anecdote” of her relationship with the late Queen of Soul.
“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,” she wrote.
“That would be impossible in 2 minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show,” she continued. “I could never do her justice in this context or environment.”
The singer had been slammed by social media users after Monday’s show, who called her “self-indulgent” and accused her of making the tribute “about her” when she shared a story about an early audition she had where she sang one of Franklin’s biggest hits, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’.
“You are probably all wondering why I am telling you this story. There is a reason. Because, none of this would have happened, could have happened, without our lady of soul,” she said whilst on stage.
“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.”
The internet was not as amused with many tweeters angrily complained that Madonna had made the “tribute” all about herself, not about Aretha.
— K (@lilmonster_92) August 21, 2018
Madonna gave herself a tribute featuring Aretha.
— LoveYourself (@ScottieBeam) August 21, 2018
What a touching tribute to Aretha Franklin where Madonna talked about her goddam self for like 30 mins
— KFC (@KFCBarstool) August 21, 2018
— Bossip (@Bossip) August 21, 2018
Madonna talking about guitar lessons, Paris baguettes and her ass hanging out while she looked for a stiletto with the image of Aretha Franklin behind her is everything I expected from the #VMAs
— Kingsley (@kingsleyyy) August 21, 2018
Madonna made Aretha Franklin's death about herself and her own musical journey, and honestly, this is some of the whitest shit I have ever seen. #VMAs
— Evette Dionne 🤷🏾♀️ (@freeblackgirl) August 21, 2018
.@MTV is literally the first network that had an opportunity to give Aretha Franklin a proper tribute, and they decided to have @Madonna stand on stage… In the most cultural appropriative outfit possible… And talk about her rags to riches story
— Nicole Tinson (@Nikki_T) August 21, 2018
Madonna ruined the Prince Tribute on the Billboard Awards in 2016.
Madonna ruined the Aretha Tribute on the #VMAs in 2018.
I really never want to see her again. Ever. pic.twitter.com/rp6QCql3aR
— April (@ReignOfApril) August 21, 2018
This was not the first time that an awards night tribute by Madonna sparked a backlash on Twitter.
When she performed in honour of Prince at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, many detractors, including BET, shaded her brutally.
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