Madonna has spoken out about her bizarre Aretha Franklin ‘tribute’ claiming she wasn’t asked to do a tribute in the first place.
The ‘Material Girl’ singer came under fire for her salute to the iconic soul star during the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Monday night. After being roundly criticised, the 60-year-old took to Instagram on Tuesday to defend herself.
“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 alongside a photo of her and award-winner Camilla Cabello.
“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.”
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 thankedAretha 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 tinselof 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. Ilove-L O V E!! ♥️ and there is nothing anyone can say or do that will change that.#vmas #postivevibes
During the awards show on Monday night, Madonna began her speech by declaring: “Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life.”
She went on to credit Franklin, who died at the age of 76, with kickstarting her career and said without her “none of this would have happened, could have happened”.
However, she then shared another bizarre anecdote, completely unrelated to Franklin, about the very first time she performed at the VMAs in 1984 and sang ‘Like A Virgin’, revealing that, after losing a shoe on stage, her manager told her that “her career was over”.
Viewers were less than impressed however, as one said: “Who keeps letting Madonna do tributes? I am still mad at her for the Prince one. Aretha or Madonna? Definitely Aretha… Madonna needs to sit down somewhere… RIP Queen of Soul.”
It’s not the first time Madonna has come under fire for a tribute though as she was previously criticised for her speech, also at the VMAs, following the death of Michael Jackson in 2009. Her tribute to Prince at the 2016 Billboard Awards was also slammed.
Franklin passed away on Thursday, August 16, and the news was confirmed by her family who released a statement about the death of the family “matriarch and rock”.
“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul,” it read. “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”
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