Madonna Tries, Mostly Fails to Defend Aretha Franklin Tribute at the VMAs
The Material Girl went ahead on Monday night and earned herself a new nickname:
The Narcissistic, Disrespectful, Rambling Woman Who Managed to Screw Up a Tribute to Arguably the Greatest Singer of All-Time.
It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it does sum up what transpired yesterday evening at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.
Prior to presenting the award for Video of the Year (which went to Camila Cabello), the 60-year old singer was asked to talk about Aretha Franklin, who died last Thursday at the age of 73.
But instead of saying nice things about this iconic artist, Madonna told a rambling story about, well… herself.
You see, a long time ago, Madonna was struggling to make it as a dancer, so she went to a musical theater audition with a group of French producers.
“Why not?” she thought at the time, telling this long story on stage in front of a consued crowd and adding:
“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 crack house.”
Okay, sure. Yeah. Tell us more, Madge…
It turned out that Madonna nailed the dance portion of the audition yet she panicked when those in charge asked her to produce sheet music and sing.
She wasn’t prepared for such a request!
“I had to think fast. My next meal was on the line,” she said, finally bringing this winding tale back to the late subject at suppose hand:
“Fortunately, one of my favorite albums was Lady Soul by Aretha Franklin. I blurted out, ‘You Make Me Feel!’ Silent. ‘You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman!’”
So… Madonna sang this famous song, the producers loved it, but she actually didn’t get the gig.
She did get a job in Paris as a result of the audition, though, and… SIGH.
You really need to just watch clips from this convoluted, self-serving speech below:
How did an Aretha Franklin tribute end up being a story all about Madonna’s early years as an entertainer?
Simple, Madonna explained in a follow-up Instagram post: This was never supposed to be a tribute!
“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!” wrote Madonna as a caption to a photo (below) of her and Cabello.
Continued Madonna in her own defense:
“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.”
Madonna did conclude her speech at the VMAs by stating:
None of this would have happened, could 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 house tonight. I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Not very apologetic in her Instagram post, Madonna slammed her critics and reiterated her affection for Franklin, closing her statement as follows:
“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.”
Well… okay then!
We guess that settles that.
Madonna loves Aretha. And Cabello. And her own fashion taste. And love in general.
And, let’s not forget what Madonna also loves most of all, even in the wake of maybe the most influential artist in history passing away.