Madonna criticised for "self-indulgent" Aretha Franklin MTV VMAs tribute 3 years ago

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.





Even shock jock Breakfast Club radio host Charlamagne Tha God weighed in:

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.

"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.

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.

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")