Fans Accuse Madonna of Making Aretha Franklin Tribute 'All About Her'
Madonna has been slammed for her tribute to the late Aretha Franklin following her speech at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards on Monday night - being accused of making it 'all about herself'.
The 'Like a Virgin' singer was dressed in black and took the time to give a sendoff to the Queen of Soul - but what was meant to be about the life of Aretha, turned into the life and woes of a young Madonna.
Instead of a tribute to the late singer, who died on Thursday of pancreatic cancer, Madonna rambled off the Aretha's name then talked about how she had inspired her on her own career.
She said: "Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life. I left Detroit when I was 18, $35 in my pocket. My dream was to make it as a professional dancer. After years of struggling and being broke, I decided to go to auditions for musical theater."
Madonna, who recently turned 60, continued her speech, opening up about her life as a young, up coming and struggling singer.
She said: "I had no training or dreams of ever becoming a singer but I went for it. I got cut and rejected from every audition - not tall enough, not blend-in enough, not 12-octave-range enough, not pretty enough. Not enough," she said.
"And then one day a French disco sensation was looking for backup singers and dancers for his world tour. I thought, 'Why not? The worst that can happen is I can go back to getting robbed, held at gunpoint and being mistaken for a prostitute in my third-floor walk-up that was also a crackhouse.' That's right, I'm a Rebel Heart."
"So I showed up for the audition and two very large French record producers sat in the empty theater, daring me to be amazing. The dance audition went well. Then they asked me if I had sheet music and a song prepared. I panicked. I had overlooked this important part of the audition process," she added.
She did eventually get back to the late Queen of Soul when she continued: "I had to think fast, my next meal was on the line. Fortunately, one of my favorite albums was 'Lady Soul' by Aretha Franklin. I blurted out, 'You Make Me Feel' ... silence. '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.' Two French guys nodded at me. I said, 'You know, by Aretha Franklin.'"
Madonna was really on a roll by this point because even more about her youth was share with the VMA audience.
She said: "They looked over at the pianist, he shook his head. 'I don't need sheet music,' I said, 'I know every word. I know the song by heart, I will sing it a cappella.' I could see that they did not take me seriously - and why should they? Some skinny-ass white girl is going to come up here and belt out a song by one of the greatest soul singers that ever lived? And a cappella ... I said, 'Bitch, I'm Madonna'. No, I didn't, I didn't say that. 'Cause I wasn't Madonna yet. I don't know who I was. I don't know what I said, I don't know what came over me."
But all good things must come to an end and she eventually wrapped up the 'tribute'.
"So you're probably all wondering why I'm telling you this story. There's a connection, because none of this would've happened - could've happened - without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today and I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight, in this room tonight, and I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen."
Her tribute was not taken with the same love it was given with.
People took to social media to voice their anger.
ESPN's Katie Nolan tweeted: "Does Madonna know Madonna didn't die?"
Another criticism came from Marc Snetiker of Entertainment Weekly, who described the Material Girl's speech as: "Madonna presents an Aretha Franklin tribute by Madonna featuring Madonna with Madonna and Madonna as 'Madonna'."
Though there were a few people calling out to support Madge - the Scottish comedian Limmy tweeted: "Madonna was right to make her Aretha Franklin tribute all about Madonna. I like Aretha, but more people know and respect Madonna, she is a global star. Lot of #VMAs viewers will now be introduced to Aretha via Madge."
Well, I suppose Madonna didn't get famous for her speech-making skills - so at least we can all appreciate the singer has still got her music.
Featured Image Credit: PA