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Madonna 'Honors' Aretha Franklin at 2018 MTV VMAs With Long Personal Story — Watch Video and Weigh In

Madonna Aretha Franklin

Four days after the death of Aretha Franklin, MTV honored the Queen of Soul with a special tribute during Monday’s Video Music Awards. And by “special tribute,” we mean a long, rambling, self-indulgent speech from Madonna.

Madge took the stage during the final hour of Monday’s ceremony, at which point she told a lengthy story about the audition that got her started on her path to stardom. (The thin connection to Franklin was that she sang one of her songs for the audition.) To her credit, Madonna ended by saying, “You’re probably wondering why I’m telling this story,” so at least she was remotely aware of what was happening. Watch part of Madonna’s speech below:

Interestingly, Franklin was nominated for two VMAs during her career: Best Female Video in 1986 for “Freeway of Love,” which she lost to Whitney Houston for “How Will I Know,” and Best Video From a Film in 1987 for “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” which she lost to The Talking Heads for “Wild Wild Life.” (That said, something tells us the 18 Grammys she won throughout her career more than made up for those two VMA losses.)

Your thoughts on Madonna’s Aretha Franklin “tribute”? With so many talented singers at MTV’s disposal, did this feel like a wasted opportunity? Hit PLAY on the video above — which encompasses about a third of Madonna’s speech — then drop a comment with your thoughts below.