Madonna took to Instagram on Tuesday to justify her angrily received Aretha Franklin tribute at the MTV Video Music Awards the night prior.
The star’s speech was skewed toward the effect Franklin’s music had on her, rather than commemorating the late singer outright. The Queen of Pop’s explanation? It was never intended to be a tribute in the first place.
“I was asked to present video of the year by MTV!” Madge, 60, said in a lengthy post. “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,” she continued.
“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.”
Viewers were swift to condemn the Material Girl on social media Monday for her VMAs appearance — the first gathering of top musicians since Franklin’s death at age 76 last week.
In her speech, Madonna recalled her early days as an aspiring singer, including one audition where she performed an a cappella version of Franklin’s iconic “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
“Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge,” Madonna lamented on Instagram. “I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”