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The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards proved that both Jennifer Lopez and Madonna pretty much never age or change.

The former was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony and also put on an incredible performance that showed off her dance moves and her ridiculous body.

The latter, meanwhile, stood on stage and was tasked with paying tribute to Aretha Franklin, the truly legendary singer who passed away last week from cancer.

Madonna Pays Tribute

But most viewers think she made this tribute all about herself.

Following a video of Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer” on a big screen, members of the audience – including Lopez and Camila Cabello – were reduced to tears as they remembered the iconic artist.

Madonna then spent her segment in front of the crowed rambling on about the impact Franklin had on her career.

This maybe, possibly could have worked.

Madonna could maybe, possibly have brought everything back around and used her tale as a way to depict the enormous impact Aretha had on the entire music industry.

Instead, though, she barely even mentioned Franklin by name.

Madonna at 2018 VMAs

At one point, for example, Madonna shared her experience at an audition where she sang Franklin’s "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" in a last-minute decision after she had failed to bring sheet music or prepare another song.


She explained that she ended up belting out this track "by heart," acapella.

And then said that the two men for whom she was auditioning didn’t believe "some skinny-ass white girl" was going to "[sing] a song by one of the greatest soul singers that ever lived."

No one watching had any idea what this had to do with Franklin herself. It just sounded like Madonna giving herself a great deal of props.

Social media was quick to erupt with criticism for the strange, self-serving way in which The Material Girl essentially ignored the entire point of this Franklin tribute.

Down On Madonna

Madonna did end up saying at least a few nice words about Franklin.

She concluded her rambling speech as follows:

"I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen."

But the damage had already been done.

Some folks are even calling for an apology to be issued, as explained by these two individuals on Twitter:

I hope the vmas plan to issue a public apology for allowing Madonna to disrespect Aretha Franklin’s legacy like that #VMAs.

"I’m so lost. I thought Madonna was supposed to be paying homage to Aretha but I all heard was her paying homage to herself.

More Madonna Slamming

Come on, you are probably thinking.

Could this have been all THAT bad?

Welp, we’ve posted snippets of Madonna’s speech below. Go ahead and find out for yourself!