If y’all were hoping to see an Aretha Franklin tribute last night at the VMAs, erm, Madonna gave a long-ass speech in front of a photo of Aretha about her own career and how she once sang “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” People got ripshit because Madge was Madge and made it all about her and not really at all about Aretha, but now Madonna has clapped back. Madge said that she wasn’t doing an Aretha tribute – if you want a real tribute, she needs at least a half-hour of cultural appropriation and self-promotion to really do the memorial justice!
Madonna took to Instagram today to show that she’ll still show up to the MTV VMAs to scope out fresh souls to suck the life from. This year, it appears Camila Cabello is her latest recruit:
Im with the Winner!! The beautiful @camila_cabello ! So proud of her! 🌈💕🎉. And 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! 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. 🙏🏼. I Love Camilla! Congrats! I LOVE my dress! AND. I love-L O V E!! ♥️ and there is nothing anyone can say or do that will change that. #vmas #postivevibes
She also explained to us that what we saw wasn’t even a true Madonna tribute to Aretha. Madge usually detonates a controversy bomb and exits stage right to let the rest of us deal with the stink, so it’s a little interesting that she’s elaborating on this memorial’s backlash. She didn’t seem to mind any of that during her “So was I” monologue (sorry for the shitty quality…guess she tried to destroy the evidence!) about Michael Jackson at the 2009 VMAs or when the ghost of Prince came back to backhand her for singing live for the first time in a decade at the Billboard Music Awards after he died. Honestly, I think awards show producers just invite her to do the memorial segment for whenever anyone dies because they know it’s going to get more eyeballs on the live broadcast than whatever single Taylor Swift is hawking.
Madonna adds she was only asked to present Video of the Year and then producers asked her at the last minute to say a few words about how Aretha influenced her. Madonna said it would be IMPOSSIBLE to do a true tribute in the two minutes (that felt like 200) allotted to her. The whole thing seemed so erratic, but if there’s one thing Madonna does best it’s talk about Madonna, so I’m sure she just popped in her life story to the audio equipment and lip-synched along and occasionally ad-libbed in a few Aretha fallacies. For one, I’d love proof that she actually won over some record producers with her own version of an Aretha song. On the other hand, I’d like to keep my eardrums, so I believe you, girl!