Madonna said "Aretha" a mere four times during the seven-minute speech, but she uttered the words "I" and "me" more than 50 times.
The tribute didn't sit well with Franklin's fans, many of whom took to social media to call her out.
While it went in some odd directions, she did manage to reign it in from time to time, but did tell a story about singing one of Aretha's songs for two French blokes at an audition, which, again, was less about the song, and more about Madonna. While the usual route of doing this is performing one of the late singer's classics, Madonna instead shared a long story of her struggle from nobody to pop star - and how Aretha kick-started that transition.
Viewers were less than impressed however, as one said: "Who keeps letting Madonna do tributes?"
Welp, they probably won't be asking Madonna back for any tributes anytime soon. She spoke at length about her own start in the business and her own career before thanking Franklin for "empowering all of us". Madonna stepped out on the stage at the VMAs adorned in a graduation robe and what looks like everything from her jewelry box paid homage to the Queen of Soul...but it wasn't the tribute many people had in mind. "R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen". She led me to where I am today.More news: Families separated by Korean War allowed brief reunions in the North
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Without Aretha there was no Madonna, and a world with no Madonna is apparently the real tragedy.
The Queen of Soul will never be forgotten...
The Queen of Pop was asked to speak about the late Queen of Soul at Monday's award ceremony in NY. "Very disappointing", one user wrote. Her tribute to Prince at the 2016 Billboard Awards was also slammed.
Of course, once Madonna stepped out onto the stage in an outfit that was pieced together from the appropriation rack from Urban Outfitters, it was clear the "Like a Virgin" singer was going to embarrass herself far more severely than if she tried to sing one of Franklin's songs.
Aretha passed away on Thursday, August 16, and the news was confirmed by her family who released a statement about the death of the family "matriarch and rock". On short notice, the woman thought about what Aretha meant to her - and that was someone who inspires others, including her.