Madonna Pays Tribute To Aretha Franklin At The 2018 VMAs

Joann Johnston
August 21, 2018

Before she presented the Video of the Year award, the Material Girl- who turned 60 the same day Franklin died of pancreatic cancer on August 16- took a moment to acknowledge the Queen of Soul's recent passing.

The show came four days after 76-year-old Franklin died of pancreatic cancer and the industry used the telecast to send Franklin off in style.

"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 professional dancer, after years of struggling and being broke, I chose to go to auditions for musical theatre". After years of struggling and being broke, I chose to go to auditions for musical theater. "Now, today, I stand here stronger and better than ever". I got cut and rejected from every audition - not tall enough, not blend-in enough, not 12-octave range enough, not pretty enough.

Madonna paying tribute to the late Aretha Franklin at the MTV VMAs.

"The "Like a Virgin" singer told a tangent-filled story of being a struggling signer and auditioning for a gig with a panicked version of "(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman". Here We Go Again clearly think Cher still has plenty to give, casting her in the role of Ruby Sheridan aka Donna's mother and Sophie's grandmother.

"After the show, my manager said my career was over", she said with a sinister smirk. "Well. Hello, sir. I would now like to present the nominees for the Video of the Year".

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In addition to the VMAs tribute, celebs have been sharing their memories of Franklin following her death last week, and a source told ET on Thursday that her good friend Clive Davis - with the blessing of her family - is planning a tribute concert on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

"No to this Aretha tribute". Madonna said after telling the long story.

"You do not disrespect an ICON like that". This is a jovial kiki about Madonna's broken a- journey. "The AUDACITY", another fan noted.

But fans have complained the speech was more about herself, rather than Franklin. Madonna's VMAs posts, including one that mentioned the hashtags "respect" and "arethafranklin", racked up hundreds of comments after the awards show. But... no. How dare you, @MTV. How.

"I'm so lost", radio host Charlamagne Tha God tweeted.

"Wha.what is going on here?!?? Who approved this", another said.

She added towards the end of her speech: "I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us".

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