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Madonna Faces Twitter Backlash Over Aretha Franklin Tribute at VMAs

All about her? Madonna was slammed on social media over a tribute to Aretha Franklin at the 2018 Video Music Awards on Monday, August 20, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

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Following a video of Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer” on a big screen, members of the audience — including Jennifer Lopez and Camila Cabello — were led to tears as they remembered the iconic singer. Madonna later took the stage to pay tribute to the legendary “Respect” songstress by revealing how Franklin impacted her personal career.

Aretha Franklin VMAs 2018 Tribute
Aretha Franklin performs at the Hyatt Hotel during the 1985 NBA All-Star Game celebration in Chicago, Illinois on April 18, 1985. Paul Natkin/Getty Images

However, the moment of greatness was overhauled by Madonna’s stories, which only highlighted the struggle she has overcome, with little to no reference to Franklin. Twitter users were quick to comment on the unfortunate mishap.

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“I hope the vmas plan to issue a public apology for allowing Madonna to disrespect Aretha Franklin’s legacy like that #VMAs,” one user wrote. Another added: “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 …”

The moment comes less than one week after Us Weekly confirmed that the 18-time Grammy winner had died at the age of 76 on August 16 in her Detroit home, following a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

madonna VMAs 2018
Madonna poses in the press room at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) Getty Images

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Franklin’s family spoke out in a statement after her death, noting that she was “surrounded by family and loved ones” when she passed.

The statement continued: “In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.”

“We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world,” the family concluded. “Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time.”

The Queen of Soul will be laid to rest in a private service on Friday, August 31, at 10 a.m. at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. A public viewing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 28, and Wednesday, August 29, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.

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