Madonna was set to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin at the MTV Video Music Awards on Monday, but the speech seemed to be all about herself.
MTV asked Madonna to honour Franklin, who died on 16 August, during her introduction for the video of the year winner announcement. Most of the tribute to Franklin, however, was spent explaining the early origins of Madonna's career.
The only mention of Franklin was that Madonna sang "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman" to - ultimately unsuccessfully - audition for a song. She credited that failure with launching her into a different opportunity that led to the rest of her career.
She added towards the end of her speech: "I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. Respect. Long live the queen."
This got her mixed reactions.
"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. Heavy on the Mayonnaise…"," Charlamagne Tha God wrote on Twitter.
"Where's Kanye when you need him?" wrote one user, making reference to the 2009 VMAs when Kanye West stormed the stage during Taylor Swift's acceptance speech and grabbed the microphone from Swift to announce Beyoncé deserved the award.
"I hate that Madonna manages to make everything about herself - even when speaking on behalf of our luminaries," wrote another, amongst many others.
Read more reactions below.
Madonna made Aretha Franklin's death about herself and her own musical journey, and honestly, this is some of the whitest shit I have ever seen. #VMAs— Evette Dionne 🤷🏾♀️ (@freeblackgirl) August 21, 2018
Madonna talking about guitar lessons, Paris baguettes and her ass hanging out while she looked for a stiletto with the image of Aretha Franklin behind her is everything I expected from the #VMAs— Kingsley (@kingsleyyy) August 21, 2018
MTV: We'd like you to give a tribute to Aretha Franklin— lgreene91 (@lgreene91) August 21, 2018
Madonna: Great, so this is how I got my career started.
MTV: No, no, a tribute to Aretha
Madonna: So I said "bitch, I'm Madonna"
MTV: This isn't about you madge
Madonna: Look at my African jewelry #VMAs