Madonna Bashed for Self-Centered Aretha Franklin Tribute — MTV VMAs

Madonna Bashed for Self-Centered Aretha Franklin Tribute — MTV VMAs

Madonna Bashed for Self-Centered Aretha Franklin Tribute — MTV VMAs

Folks all over the world watching the MTV Video Music Awards have been left baffled by Madonna's tribute to Aretha Franklin, which only seemed to highlight the 60-year-old singer's questionable understanding of what a tribute actually is.

The one-time pop star was there to present the award video of the year and honor the Queen of Soul, but her speech turned out to be more about Madonna than Franklin.

"The "Like A Virgin" singer opened the segment by saying Franklin had "changed the course" of her life, and shared that when she was an aspiring singer and dancer she sang Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel A) Natural Woman" acapella during an unsuccessful audition. One user pointed out, "Say what you want about BET... they would've done a way better Aretha Franklin tribute. R-E-S-P-E-C-T", she said. "Long live the queen".

"None of this could have happened, would have happened, without this lady of soul", Madonna said, of her own rise. Far more accused her of making the show's only tribute to Franklin all about herself. "There is a connection", she said.

Madonna continued to talk about her early-career struggles, like getting robbed, and being "mistaken for a prostitute in her third floor walk-up, that was also a crack house". "Madonna has been entitled + gentrifying [black] things for a LONG time", she tweeted.

Though the singer's message was clear, many were critical of her delivery and the lack of actual Franklin-context in her speech. "You make me realise every day, [that] the sky is not the limit". Madonna's VMAs posts, including one that mentioned the hashtags "respect" and "arethafranklin", racked up hundreds of comments after the awards show. She led me to where I am today, and I know she influenced so many people in this room tonight.

Another wondered why MTV didn't ask a black artist to give the tribute instead. "@MTV our attractive black queen deserves better", wrote one user.

"I love you ty for incredible us with your lovely and powerful speech you're fantastic", another fan added.

A few of the star's die-hard fans managed to shine a ray of light on the situation though, including one who called the tribute a "Great speech!"

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