Madonna took the Radio City Music Hall stage during the second half of the show for what appeared to be the night's big tribute to Franklin, but the tribute appeared to be more about Madonna than the soul singer, who passed away late last week.
But instead, Madonna chose to focus on how Aretha affected her life and helped her become a success, detailed the Hollywood Reporter. "I left Detroit when I was 18, $35 in my pocket", she said.
"I showed up to the audition, and two very large French record producers sat in the empty theater, daring me to be wonderful. It felt wrong. They were good people, but I wanted to write my own songs and be a musician, not a puppet", she said.
"The singer shared her experience at an audition where she sang Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" in a last-minute decision after she had failed to bring sheet music or prepare another song.
"Because none of this would have happened, could have happened, without our lady of soul". 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.
"We're definitely going to honor her", said Jesse Ignjatovic, co-founder of the production company Den of Thieves and executive producer of the VMAs. But we suppose her earlier performance of "God is a woman" at the VMAs will have to do.More news: Trump Organization accuses Omarosa's book publisher of tortious interference with hush agreement
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Cardi B started the show as frontrunner, narrowly taking more nominations than Jay-Z and Beyonce, who ended the evening with just one award - best cinematography - for their Louvre-shot video "Apeshit".
Madonna ruined the Aretha Tribute on the #VMAs in 2018.
The music industry lost one of its very brightest stars last week with the death of the unrivaled Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. This is a jovial kiki about Madonna's broken ass journey.
"So you're probably all wondering why I'm telling you this story". You and @MTV should be ashamed. And I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us.
"That was so so so so disrespectful", wrote one user. "There is so much more to do, and I know in my heart that the future is even brighter than anything I could have accomplished up to now because of you".