Madonna criticised for "self-indulgent" Aretha Franklin MTV VMAs tribute
On the day the Queen of Pop turned 60 the Queen of Soul passed away
Madonna paid tribute last night at the MTV VMAs to Aretha Franklin, who sadly passed away last Thursday. Her speech however wasn't received well by certain viewers as she was branded self-indulgent.
Delivering a five minute speech at last night's ceremony in New York, Madonna ended it by giving thanks to Franklin for "empowering all of us."
Then the criticism came as it seemed to many like her tribute was more like an anecdote about her own career.
I hope the vmas plan to issue a public apology for allowing Madonna to disrespect Aretha Franklin's legacy like that #VMAs
— Kia Kia (@kiiajai) August 21, 2018
— Skrtt! Skrtt! on Kneegurs (@KetoG7) August 21, 2018
Travis Scott gave a better Aretha Franklin Tribute than Madonna and All he said was RIP Aretha Franklin. #VMAs
— Tʀᴇʏ Lᴀᴡʀᴇɴᴄᴇ ♪ 🌃 (@_TREYLAWRENCE) August 21, 2018
— Eddie Gaona (@eddiegaona) August 21, 2018
— Brittany Stephanis (@bmstephanis) August 21, 2018
Aretha Franklin's Tribute at the #VMAs:
1. Madonna talks about herself, at length, with Aretha as a footnote.
2. "Respect" is played at the very end.
3. A photo of Aretha with "1942-2018."
Bro, what? Disrespectful.
— Nia Langley✨ (@theNiaLangley) August 21, 2018
As a lifelong Madonna fan it pains me to say this...but this is what happens when you don't have anyone in your life who tells you that you shouldn't do something or tells you that you're acting out of control.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 21, 2018
— K (@GigitheStalli0n) August 21, 2018
— Michele DeMino (@CheleDeMino) August 21, 2018
Even shock jock Breakfast Club radio host Charlamagne Tha God weighed in:
I’m so lost. I thought Madonna was supposed to be paying homage to Aretha but I all heard was her paying homage to herself. HEAVY on the Mayonnaise......
— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) August 21, 2018
In her speech, Madonna talked about an audition at the start of her career when she sang Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman".
She told the audience about how she auditioned for "two very large French record producers" who "did not take me seriously".
She continued: "And why should they? Some skinny ass white girl is going to come up here and belt out a song by one of the greatest soul singers that ever lived, a capella?"
Madonna went on to describe how the producers didn't call her for weeks but said they wanted to take her to Paris to make her a star.
"And the rest is history."
She even mentioned the fact that she used to live in a crack house.
Madonna’s speech had absolutely NOTHING to do with paying tribute to #ArethaFranklin. She told a long, dry, drawn out story about herself, how HER career got started, and how she had to live in a “Crack house” 🎻🎻🎻 ....then at the end she spelled out R-E-S-P-E-C-T. 😐 #VMAs
— ANDRA FULLER (@mrdrefuller) August 21, 2018
MTV producers: “ok Madonna you’re going to give a tribute speech about Aretha Franklin”
Madonna: “Gotcha, say one thing about Aretha then talk about myself for 10 minutes”
Producers: “...what. No, give a tribu..”
Madonna: “Back when I lived in a crack den..”
— BadBoyRoy (@Roco__23) August 21, 2018
"So you're probably all wondering why I'm telling you this story," she continued. "There is a connection. Because none of this would have happened, could have 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, and I want to thank you Aretha for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen."
And apparently this wasn't the first time that Madonna had been a bit too self-indulgent when giving a tribute to a fallen music star. One Twitter user found an excerpt from her 2009 tribute speech to Michael Jackson and it's fair to say that she might just have been a little too me, me, me.
Idk why folks are surprised at Madonna’s self-serving Aretha Franklin tribute at the #VMAs because I still remember how she began her Michael Jackson tribute back in 2009 🤦🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/aYJQKbfwLe
— Dallas Hawes 💬 (@DeeEmAych) August 21, 2018
The backlash didn't stop there though. Madonna presented the award for Video of the Year to Camila Cabello for "Havana", beating out Childish Gambino, Ariana Grande, Drake and Bruno Mars for the trophy.
Arriving on stage, Cabello bowed down to Madonna and dedicated the award to the 60-year-old pop icon.
Camila Cabello got on her knees and praised Madonna and dedicated her undeserved Video of the Year award to her......after Madonna just gave a self-indulgent "tribute" to Aretha Franklin.
And that describes how #VMAs treated Black artists the entire night...
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) August 21, 2018
Here's a list of last night's key winners:
MTV Video Music Awards
- Best Hip Hop - Nicki Minaj ("Chun-Li")
- Song of the Year - Post Malone ("Rockstar")
- Best Latin - J Balvin/Willy William ("Mi Gente")
- Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award - Jennifer Lopez
- Artist of the Year - Camila Cabello
- Best New Artist - Cardi B
- Best Collaboration - Jennifer Lopez, DJ Khaled and Cardi B ("Dinero")
- Video With A Message - Childish Gambino ("This Is America")
- Video of the Year - Camila Cabello ("Havana")