Original report: One of the biggest nights in music celebrated achievements in music videos, and took some time out to honor the late Queen of Soul.
Close to the very end of the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, the life of Aretha Franklin, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 76 Aug. 16, was celebrated.
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Returning for a commercial break before the end of the show, the show opened with a clip of Franklin performing “Say a Little Prayer” in 1970.
Madonna then walked onstage with a monologue about the inspiration Franklin was to her and how she auditioned in France with a performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
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“You’re probably all wondering why I’m telling you this story,” she said. “There’s a connection because none of this would have happened -- could have happened -- without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today and I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight. In this room tonight.
“And I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen.”
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The monologue, which many thought Madonna made about herself and not Franklin, was criticized by Twitter users.
This isn't the first tribute to a late musician Madonna was criticized for. Her 2016 tribute to Prince at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards was also the subject of Twitter critique.