Madonna Is Being Blasted For Her Bizarre Tribute To Aretha Franklin At The VMAs

Published: August 20, 2018

Madonna is being heavily criticised for her tribute speech to Aretha Franklin at this year’s MTV VMAs, with punters calling it self-centred and narcissistic.

With Franklin passing last Friday at age 76, the VMAs confirmed pre-show that the awards ceremony would pay homage and tribute to the Queen of Soul. That took the form of Madonna’s speech before awarding Camila Cabello the award for Video Of The Year: dressed in a black gown and a clash of jewellery and beads, she spoke for several minutes about the beginning of her career.

“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 dancer,” she began.

The story continues, detailing her constant rejections until an audition to be a back-up dancer and singer for a ‘French disco sensation’, in which she sung Franklin’s ‘(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman’.

“I thought, ‘why not?’ The worst that can happen is going back to getting robbed, held at gunpoint and being mistaken for a prostitute on my third-floor walkup that was also a crack house. That’s right — I’m a Rebel Heart,” she said, a reference to her 2015 album.

Madonna then mentioned that Franklin’s Lady Soul was a personal favourite at the time, and ended with the star saying that she owes her career to Franklin’s inspiration.

“None of this would have happened, could have happened, without our lady of soul,” she said. “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.”

Needless to say, the speech stuck out for viewers, who criticised its self-mythologising nature.

Given Madonna’s long-standing history of cultural appropriation, she was also criticised for her braids and outfit, including a headpiece in-debited to those traditionally worn by Moroccan Amazighs, an ethnic minority of North Africa.

Meanwhile, some were more impressed by an eye-catching audience member:

It’s not the first time Madonna has come under fire for missing the mark when it comes to tributes. In 2016, her Prince tribute performance at the Billboard Music Awards was criticised for being lacklustre.

The post Madonna Is Being Blasted For Her Bizarre Tribute To Aretha Franklin At The VMAs appeared first on Junkee.

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