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Madonna accused of leaving Aretha out of VMA Franklin tribute

By | Published on Tuesday 21 August 2018

Aretha Franklin

Madonna has been criticised for her tribute to Aretha Franklin at last night’s MTV VMAs in New York, after using her ten minute slot on stage to mainly talk about herself.

Franklin, of course, died last week, making the tribute a late addition to the VMA schedule. Still, many felt that Madonna’s speech was somewhat lacking. Coming at the end of the ceremony, Madonna recalled an early audition, in which she sang Franklin’s ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’.

Franklin “changed the course of my life”, she told the audience. She then went on to explain that she’d once gone up for a singing job in Paris and decided to sing the Franklin classic because she had nothing prepared and she knew that “by heart”. The two men auditioning her didn’t believe that “some skinny-ass white girl” would be able to “belt out a song by one of the greatest soul singers that ever lived”. Oh how wrong they were.

She aced the audition, got the gig, and then blew it all off for some guitar lessons, which in turn led to her becoming one of the biggest pop stars of all time.

Like you now, the audience both in the room and on TV were seemingly left wondering what all this had to do with Aretha Franklin. Madonna explained: “None of this would 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 room tonight. I want to thank you Aretha for empowering all of us. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Long live the queen”.

I hope that’s all clear now. Back at the other end of the evening, Cardi B opened the show by pretending to breastfeed one of the trophies. So, it was all pretty standard VMA fare.