Madonna, MTV VMAs blasted for horrific tribute to Aretha Franklin

PRAGUE – NOVEMBER 7: Famous pop singer Madonna during her performance in Prague, Czech Republic, November 7, 2015. (Photo credit: yakub88/shutterstock)

There are a multitude of legendary R&B and soul singers who could have graced the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards to pay tribute to Aretha Franklin. But somehow Madonna was chosen by VMA producers to honor the “Queen of Soul” less than one week after she passed.

Madonna was criticized after a lackluster tribute to Prince at the Billboard Awards following his death in 2016. Ignoring the backlash from that moment, VMA producers gave Madonna another shot at honoring a Black music legend. Similar to the Prince tribute, Madonna’s tribute to Franklin did not resonate with most viewers and was possibly met with even more criticism.

During the tribute to Aretha, Madonna shared stories about her own life and rise to fame. Near the end of her speech, Madonna took about six seconds to actually acknowledge Franklin. “I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen,” she said.

Madonna caught the wrath of Black Twitter following her speech and the announcement for “Video of the Year.”

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Shaw's latest book, Trap History, delves into the history and global dominance of Trap music. Follow his journey on TrapHistory.Com, Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.



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