Published: Wed, August 22, 2018
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Madonna's rambling Aretha Franklin tribute earns backlash

Madonna's rambling Aretha Franklin tribute earns backlash

Madonna is facing backlash online after her tribute to Aretha Franklin at the VMAs on Monday night was criticized for being more about herself than Franklin, whose death last week stunned the world. Then there was some rambling about living in a crack den (is this Madonna's version of "Jenny From The Block"?) before she circled back to Franklin long enough to tell the crowd to show the late singer some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. However, Madonna briefly seemed to get back on track; during the audition for the French disco star, she said, she made a decision to sing (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman because one of her favorite albums was Franklin's Lady Soul. At first, she launched into a monologue that appeared to be a tribute: "Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life", she said.

After all that, the video of the year award ended up going to Camila Cabello. Madonna spoke of Aretha's music, the music I'd grown up listening to, as an extension of her own mythology.

The only other mention of Franklin during the nearly three-hour show from NY was a brief video clip of her singing early in her career, and the playing of R.E.S.P.E.C.T over the closing credits.

That's right everyone: without Aretha, there'd be no Madonna. As the credits began to roll, I heard Aretha's "Respect" playing over the speakers in the auditorium as people got up from their seats to exit. She sang it a cappella.

"Why not?" she said of her mindset about the audition.

"I left Detroit when I was 18", she said.

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Others questioned why Madonna was chosen to deliver Franklin's tribute over artists who were more closely associated with her.

While watching, I couldn't help but think back on a similar moment during the 2018 Golden Globe Awards that took place earlier this year, when female actors wore black gowns as a nod to #MeToo. "How Madonna making this about her", one Twitter user said. This is a jovial kiki about Madonna's broken a- journey. "The AUDACITY", another fan noted.

She would continue, reminiscing about her big break and how Franklin's music would give her the chance to be a star in her own right.

Viewers were left cold after Madge's tribute to the Queen of Soul seemed more like. a tribute to Madge.


Madonna didn't take the insult lightly, however, later writing, "Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to". Thanks for paying homage and personalizing it to your life.

"I love you ty for wonderful us with your handsome and powerful speech you're awesome", another fan added.

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