Madonna Says She 'Did Not Intend to Do a Tribute' to Aretha Franklin at 2018 MTV VMAs

"I could never do her justice in this context or environment," Madonna explained on Instagram.

Madonna has faced backlash for what some viewers interpreted as an egocentric tribute to Aretha Franklin at Monday night’s (Aug. 20) MTV Video Music Awards in New York City. Before presenting the prestigious video of the year honor, the pop icon took the opportunity to pay respect to Aretha Franklin, who passed away at age 76 on Aug 16.

In a lengthy but heartfelt speech, the iconic pop singer remembered performing the Queen of Soul's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" a cappella at an audition in New York City, after leaving Detroit at age 18 with "35 dollars in my pocket." Some viewers then accused Madonna of making the show’s only tribute to Franklin all about herself.

Madonna has now addressed the controversy, posting a photo on Instagram with video of the year winner Camila Cabello and explaining in the caption that her speech was not intended to tribute Franklin. “I could never do her justice in this context or environment," she wrote.

Check out Madonna's full post below.


Im with the Winner!! The beautiful @camila_cabello ! So proud of her! ------. And just to clarify: I was asked to present video of the year by MTV! And then they asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin! I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way. I did not intend to do a tribute to her! That would be impossible in 2 minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show. I could never do her justice in this context or environment. Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge. I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T. ----. I Love Camilla! Congrats! I LOVE my dress! AND. I love-L O V E!! ♥️ and there is nothing anyone can say or do that will change that. #vmas #postivevibes

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