Madonna Defends Aretha Franklin Tribute After Backlash

Madonna is defending herself after inciting backlash over her remarks about the late Aretha Franklin at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.

Her Madgesty took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a photo of herself posing with video of the year winner Camila Cabello, of whom she said she is “so proud.” “And just to clarify: I was asked to present video of the year by MTV!” Madonna began. “And then they asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin!”

During her speech inside New York’s Radio City Music Hall on Monday night, the singer revealed that her a cappella cover of Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” helped jump-start her music career. After battling advanced pancreatic cancer, Franklin died last week at her home in Detroit at 76.

Madonna — who, fresh off a 60th birthday trip to Malawi and Morocco, was dressed in traditional African garb — later referred to herself as a “skinny-ass white girl” who “is going to come out here and sing a song by one of the soul singers that ever lived.” It wasn’t long before social media lit up with heated reactions to the superstar’s appearance and comments. She was widely accused of cultural appropriation and for making the segment all about herself.

Madonna explained on Instagram: “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 two minutes with all the noise and tinsel of an award show. I could never do her justice in this context or environment.”

The Grammy winner reiterated that “none of this would’ve happened, could’ve happened without our lady of soul.” She added, “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! 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 #positivevibes”

This isn’t the first time Madonna has faced criticism for flubbing a tribute. Back in 2016, many fans voiced their unfavorable opinion about her tribute performance to the late Prince at the Billboard Music Awards.

Read her full statement below.

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

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This article originally was published at The Hollywood Reporter.