Madonna used her tribute to Aretha Franklin at the 2018 MTV VMAs to talk about her own career and legacy, and Twitter is having none of it.
The “Material Girl” singer began her tribute to Aretha by talking about how they both grew up in Detroit — which was basically the only time the mentioned the legendary soul singer until the end of her rambling tribute.
Instead, Madonna talked to the crowd about how hard it was for her to “become Madonna” and how she was a starving artist trying to break into musical theater. She recalled her first big audition and how the men in the room didn’t want to listen to her, and the only song she could sing without sheet music was “Natural Woman.”
Pepper in a few mentions of “Respect,” and Madonna’s trip down career memory lane parading as a tribute to the 76-year-old singer, who passed away last week, was complete.
Naturally — Twitter sounded off on Madonna’s tribute and called it out for being shamefully disrespectful.
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
You do not disrespect an ICON like that. This is a jovial kiki about Madonna’s broken ass journey. You honor a legend by telling their story or SHUT UP. The AUDACITY.
— Nina Parker (@MzGossipGirl) August 21, 2018
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
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
— ℙ𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕖𝕟𝕥: 𝔸𝕣𝕚 💚 (@KetoG7) August 21, 2018
BET centered the whole 2009 BET Awards around Michael Jackson in 3 fucking days. MTV had 4 days and the best did for Aretha was bring out a white girl from Detroit named Madonna who made the half ass tribute herself. #VMAS pic.twitter.com/wH6tAchpCW
— Kevin Simmons (@TheSkorpion) August 21, 2018
— Alx ✊🏾✊🏾 (@thafreshstkd305) August 21, 2018
Madonna really gentrified an entire tribute to Aretha with more anecdotes than a Presidential candidate. You gotta be kidding me… #VMAs
— Jeff J. (@JeffJSays) August 21, 2018
What do you think everyone? Was Madonna really paying tribute to Aretha?
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