Madonna has addressed the backlash that followed her speech at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at the weekend, after she was criticised for being disrespectful in her tribute to the late Aretha Franklin.

The pop icon, who celebrated her 60th birthday last week, was accused of being tone-deaf in her five-minute monologue about her own career. Some were annoyed that a white artist had been selected to pay tribute to Franklin (who passed away on Thursday), while others expressed disbelief that Madge spent virtually the entire time talking about herself and her own journey to becoming a star.

However, she took to Instagram days later to defend herself, explaining that the organisers of the VMAs had asked her to share “any anecdotes” about the late Queen of Soul while presenting the Album of the Year award on Sunday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

MadonnaMadonna's speech at the VMAs had attracted criticism

“I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way,” Madonna wrote on Wednesday (August 22nd). “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.”

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She only fleetingly touched upon Aretha Franklin in her tribute, before delving into the story of how one of the icon’s songs had successfully aided her in an audition that launched her career, ahead of awarding the prize to Camila Cabello.

The song that inspired her was ‘(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman’ which Madonna decided to sing when put on the spot during an audition to become a backing dancer for “a French disco sensation.”

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“I could see that they didn’t take me seriously, and why should they?” she continued. “Some skinny-ass white girl is going to come up here and belt out a song by one of the greatest soul singers who ever lived? A capella? I said, ‘Bitch, I’m Madonna.’ No, I didn’t. I didn’t say that. Because I wasn’t Madonna yet. I don’t know who I was.”

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