Under no uncertain terms is Madonna close to the singer that the late, great Aretha Franklin was, so it puzzled viewers of last night’s 2018 MTV Video Music Awards when the pop star made it about herself. In the end, Madonna played herself and ruined a moment that should have solely been about the Queen of Soul and nothing else.
CNN Entertainment writes:
Madonna opened her statement by saying Franklin “changed the course of my life,” but from there, it evolved into a story about Madonna’s journey into the music business.
The singer shared her experience at an audition where she sang Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” in a last-minute decision after she had failed to bring sheet music or prepare another song.
Madonna said she ended up singing the tune, which she knew “by heart,” acapella. Though, she said, the two men who she was auditioning for didn’t believe “some skinny-ass white girl” was going to “belt out a song by one of the greatest soul singers that ever lived.”
According to Madonna, she impressed the men, but the gig ended up leading to a dead-end opportunity. While her big break would come later, she said Franklin “led me to where I am today.”
“I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” she said. “Long live the queen.”
As expected, Twitter gave Madonna the business for trying to center herself during the Franklin tribute.
“#Madonna is demonstrating a dynamic performance of peak white womanhood. This was not an #Aretha tribute but a monologue on how another iconic Black woman is being reduced to how she helped a white woman,” @blaqueerflow posted via Twitter, summing up the thoughts of many.
The Breakfast Club‘s Charlamagne Tha God gave Madonna the “Donkey Of The Day” award for a good damn reason. Check it out below.