Madonna defends 'self-indulgent' tribute to Aretha Franklin

Cardi B VMAs

Madonna is defending herself after inciting backlash over her remarks about the late Aretha Franklin at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards. She even closed off by sharing a memory of performing "Like A Virgin" as part of the original VMAs show in 1984 before presenting video of the year, which went to Camila Cabello for "Havana".

But her lengthy speech focused mostly on her own early career. "R-E-S-P-E-C-T", she said in her presentation.

"I could see that they didn't take me seriously, and why should they?" she said of the men she was auditioning for at the time. She spoke at length about her own start in the business and her own career before thanking Franklin for "empowering all of us".

Madonna paid homage to the late music icon - who passed away last week at the age of 76 - and said that the "Natural Woman" soul queen was responsible for her success.

She also wrote that she could never do Franklin justice with a tribute amid the noise and tinsel of an awards show. "You're probably all wondering why I'm telling you this story", she said, and she wasn't wrong. However, Madonna explained that she quickly got exhausted of being a "puppet", so she traveled back to the U.S.to begin her real career.

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.

After Aretha Franklin's death last Thursday, MTV quickly added some R.E.S.P.E.C.T.to its broadcast of the Video Music Awards (VMAs), which aired Monday night.

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The Madonna Twitter roasting included this from one angry Franklin fan: "Only madonna would tell her life story while honoring a dead Black Woman lmaooo".

Take a look at Madonna's speech - and some of the reactions to it - below. We want to bring you to Paris and make you a star'.

One little comment can do so much damage on social media.

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

Past recipients of the Vanguard award include Madonna, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Beyoncé.

"Comedian and actor Roy Wood Jr teased with a fake quote summarising the speech, tweeting: "'If it wasn't for Aretha, we wouldn't have Madonna'- Madonna". With Franklin passing away only a few days before the MTV VMAs, producers scrambled to add the Queen of Soul to the nearly three-hour show.

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