Madonna went on stage to present the award for best video of the year and to honor Ms. Franklin who passed away last week after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Madonna gave, what she considered, a six-minute tribute to Aretha Franklin. And by tribute, I mean a rant as to how she got to where she is today from French Disco artists to crack houses.
The pop star started her speech by saying Franklin changed the course of my life, but things quickly went left. What many assumed would be a speech with constant references back to the queen of soul, instead was a timeline of Madonnas life-struggles to stardom.
Madonna told the audience that she made a last-minute decision to sing Franklins (You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Women at an audition after she had failed to bring sheet music or prepare another song. She then told the audience she knew the song by heart, hence why she chose it.
Alas, she didnt get the part and was forced to go back to her run-down apartment, which also served as a crack house, defeated. For some odd reason, I find it hard to believe that Madonna, given her discography, wouldve done that song justice anyways.
She then ended her speech by saying, while her big break would come later, None of this would have happened without our lady of Soul. Franklin led me to where I am today. She then continued by saying I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, long live the queen.
It was a 6-minute speech.
If youre scratching your head trying to figure out what any of that had to do with Franklin, so were many others who were tuned in last night. Madonnas tribute was nothing short of disrespectful and pissed off many who took to Twitter to express their concerns.
Aretha Franklin dies* MTV: “You know what would be really good? If Madonna talked about herself for 10 minutes and mentioned Aretha once
So all the black artist they could call to talk about the legacy of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and MTV brought out Madonna to mention Aretha one time in her long ass story???? #VMAs D.I.S.R.E.S.P.E.C.T. https://t.co/9wAmpxH74k
The blame, however, falls not only Madonna but MTV as well. According to an Instagram post on The Shaderoom, she was asked to say something about Aretha the very last minute. That still doesn’t negate that fact that instead of talking about the queen, you chose to talk about yourself. With a backdrop of Aretha in place, MTV allowed what shouldve been a moment for Aretha go to waste on yet another white woman crying about how she had to struggle to get to where she is today.
The Shade Room on Instagram: “#Madonna responds to the criticism that followed her #ArethaFranklin reflection at the #VMAs (view earlier post) : @gettyimages”
5,962 Likes, 782 Comments – The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Instagram: “#Madonna responds to the criticism that followed her #ArethaFranklin reflection at the #VMAs (view…”
Furthermore, had the shoe been on the other foot and it were a tribute to Madonna, all artists that night wouldve had to change their set to include Madonna in some way shape and form. MTV didnt even have the decency to have a proper woman of color to do the tribute, Jennifer Hudson, Ciara, Normani, anyone. Madonna’s birthday being the same day Aretha died doesn’t justify why MTV couldn’t take that proper time and effort to find someone adequate enough to do the tribute. Id take Adele if anything, was Adele too busy MTV?
But wait, it gets better. And as for the winner of the video of the year award, Ms. Camila Cabello, really sis? After all that, you had the nerve to dedicate your award to Madonna out of all people. If it were not for Ms. Aretha Queen of Soul Franklin, you would not even have a platform to sing on. But as the saying goes, if you knew better, youd do better.
MTV dropped that ball with this one. Aretha deserves better.