Madonna Says Panned Aretha Speech Was Not a Tribute

Madge says MTV asked her to share an anecdote about the Queen of Soul
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 21, 2018 3:58 PM CDT
Madonna presents the award for video of the year at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Madonna has responded to widespread criticism of the "tribute" she made to Aretha Franklin at Monday night's MTV Video Music Awards. Per Entertainment Weekly, Madge explained on Instagram that she was asked by the network to share an anecdote with the audience while presenting this year's video of the year award to Camila Cabello. As AP notes, many said Madonna's speech did more to honor herself than it did the Queen of Soul, who died last week at the age of 76.

Others suggested her eye-catching outfit was a form of cultural appropriation. Not so, Madonna insisted. "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," she wrote. "I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T. I love Camilla! Congrats! I LOVE my dress!"

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