‘I love Aretha!’ Madonna responds to critics of her VMA tribute

Pop legend says her words at the MTV ceremony were not intended as a full tribute to Aretha Franklin, saying: ‘I could never do her justice in this context or environment’

Madonna has responded to criticism of her appearance at the MTV video music awards ceremony, where she delivered a speech about the late Aretha Franklin that was perceived as self-serving.

While presenting the artist of the year award, Madonna told the story of how “Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life”, when she performed the Franklin standard (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at an audition that helped kickstart her career. “None of this could have happened without our lady of soul,” said Madonna. “She led me to where I am today and I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight. Long live the queen.”

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