The Material Girl will not apologize for her Madonna-centered comments during a tribute to Aretha Franklin at Monday night’s MTV Video Music Awards.
#VMAs: The Queen of Pop @Madonna pays tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin: "I want to thank you, Aretha for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen." pic.twitter.com/ugdxbr48Gz
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) August 21, 2018
At the end of the telecast, before giving Camila Cabello the award for Video of the Year, Madonna stepped forward and spoke at length about her love for Aretha Franklin and how she once sang “Natural Woman” at an audition. Unfortunately, that’s where any mention of Aretha ended, as the rest of the speech was about Madonna’s career and early struggles.
The legendary singer, who turned 60 on the day Franklin passed, received harsh criticism online for her myopic comments. Now, just the morning after, Madonna has defended her comments in a post on Facebook.
“Just to clarify: 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!” Madona wrote. “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. Unfortunately, most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge. I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”
Madonna fans flocked to the comments to defend their diva.
“I think most of your fans knew that the Aretha portion of your presentation was not your main reason for being there. You did nothing wrong. People just like to create controversy around you,” one person wrote.