The pop icon took to Instagram on Tuesday to address the bizarre speech she gave on Monday’s broadcast, in which she seemed ready to honor the Queen of Soul, who died Aug. 16. She ultimately told a lengthy story about the audition that jump-started her career, which was only tangentially related to Franklin, whose song she sang for the audition in question.
In her social media post, Madonna responded to the widespread criticism of her monologue, clarifying that she “did not intend to do a tribute” to Franklin, as that “would be impossible in two minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show.”
According to the singer, she was merely tapped to present the award for Video of the Year and was asked to “share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin” before handing out the trophy. The segment, though, was not intended to be a formal tribute to Franklin. (In fairness to Madge, she was introduced as the Video of the Year presenter… but she took the stage immediately after a vintage Franklin clip had played, and a photo of the late artist was shown on the Radio City Music Hall screens at the time.)
“I could never do her justice in this context or environment,” the post reads. “Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge.”
Read Madonna’s full response below, then tell us: How did you feel about her quasi-tribute?
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Im with the Winner!! The beautiful @camila_cabello ! So proud of her! 🌈💕🎉. And just to clarify: I was asked to present video of the year by MTV! And then they asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin! I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way. I did not intend to do a tribute to her! That would be impossible in 2 minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show. I could never do her justice in this context or environment. Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge. I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T. 🙏🏼. I Love Camilla! Congrats! I LOVE my dress! AND. I love-L O V E!! ♥️ and there is nothing anyone can say or do that will change that. #vmas #postivevibes