Aretha Franklin Tribute by Madonna at 2018 MTV VMAs Sparked Outraged on Twitter

It's not uncommon to see celebrities at award shows giving tributes to other icons that have recently passed away. These special moments are designed to pay homage to the deceased and speakers usually deliver riveting addresses filled with kind words in celebration of the late star's accomplishments.

Such was not the case during Madonna's tribute to the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards on Monday.

MTV paid their respects to Franklin, who died from pancreatic cancer on Thursday, by airing her 1970 performance of Dionne Warwick's, "I Say a Little Prayer," which appeared on Franklin's 15th studio album Aretha Now. The network also played her chart-topping hit, "Respect," during the closing credits of the show.

Madonna, who appeared onstage to present singer Camila Cabello with the Video of the Year award, unexpectedly delivered a lengthy speech intended to honor Franklin's legacy, but she missed the mark by spending most of her 10-minute tribute talking about her own musical achievements.

"Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life. I left Detroit when I was 18. Thirty-five dollars in my pocket. My dream was to make it as a professional dancer. After years of struggling and being broke, I decided to go to auditions for musical theater," Madonna said. "I had no training or dreams of ever becoming a singer but I went for it. I got cut and rejected from every audition—not tall enough, not blend-in enough, not 12-octave range enough, not pretty enough. Not enough."

The 60-year-old singer went on to tell the story of her journey to fame, which apparently started with her auditioning for a backup dancer role for a French disco singer's world tour. She aced the dance portion of the audition, but the "Material Girl" singer failed to bring sheet music and a song to perform. "I had overlooked this important part of the audition process," she said. "I had to think fast, my next meal was on the line."

Madonna finally made the first reference to Franklin, explaining that she gave an impromptu performance of Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" from the Detroit singer's 1968 album Lady Soul. Then she continued to talk about herself. "I could see that they did not take me seriously—and why should they? Some skinny ass white girl is going to come up here and belt out a song by one of the greatest soul singers that ever lived? And a cappella," she said.

Madonna's Aretha Franklin Tribute Doesn't Go Well With Fans on Twitter
Madonna speaks onstage during the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City. Theo Wargo/Getty Images

It wasn't until the bitter end of the speech when Madonna finally offered an actual tribute to Franklin.

"So you're probably all wondering why I'm telling you this story. There's a connection because none of this would've happened—could've happened—without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today and I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight, in this room tonight, and I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen," she said.

Fans on Twitter weren't the least bit impressed with Madonna's effort to eulogize Franklin and they didn't hold back with their comments on her self-serving tribute. Others seemed to be baffled that Madonna somehow always ended up giving the tribute to deceased black celebrities.

Take a look at some of the reactions to Madonna's speech below.

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 (@cthagod) August 21, 2018

Idk why folks are surprised at Madonna’s self-serving Aretha Franklin tribute at the #VMAs because I still remember how she began her Michael Jackson tribute back in 2009 🤦🏻‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/aYJQKbfwLe

— Dallas Hawes 💬 (@DeeEmAych) August 21, 2018

Madonna did the tribute speech for Aretha Franklin. Madonna did the tribute performance for Prince. Madonna did the tribute speech for Michael Jackson...why? Who keeps thinking its a good idea to hire Madonna to eulogize Black artists who have passed away?

— L E F T, PhD ⚫️ (@LeftSentThis) August 21, 2018

Aretha in heaven sitting on her throne looking down at Madonna like Bitch did You die or me?

Aretha or Madonna #VMAS pic.twitter.com/L7Ibsu86Xj

— D.T. (@Darlene26811165) August 21, 2018

Enough‼️ Be mad at me if you want. But, we as a nation ... must stop letting #Madonna do the tributes to great black music legends. First there was that Billboard debacle to Prince. And NOW ... Madonna babbling about Madonna, in that faux #MTVVMAS#Aretha tribute”. #nomore 😡

— Arsenio Hall (@ArsenioHall) August 21, 2018

Y’all gon get enough of having Madonna give the tributes for the Black artists... #VMAS

— Loni Love (@LoniLove) August 21, 2018

Aretha watching Madonna’s tribute to her from heaven .... pic.twitter.com/fuMkCCf1AT

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 21, 2018

@Madonna please have two seats. You couldn’t hold the skillet Aretha make cornbread in, You are so self absorbed they have toilet paper with your face on it. I hope Aretha reaches out and slaps you back to Detroit.

— LifesSweetIndulgence (@blk24ktxt2) August 21, 2018

Did Madonna make her Aretha Tribute about Madonna with a sprinkle of Aretha's name in it??

— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) August 21, 2018