“Who was Madonnas tribute for, anyway?
That`s the question many people on Twitter were asking after the Material Girl honored the Queen of Soul at the 2018 MTV VMAs in New York City last night. Madonna took to the stage toward the end of the broadcast to honor Aretha Franklin, who died last week at age 76. But, in doing so, viewers accused the 60-year-old pop icon of seemingly paid tribute to herself. And Madonna, who recently celebrated her milestone birthday in Malawi and Morocco, wore traditional African attire, leading some viewers to accuse the singer of cultural appropriation.”
Aretha Franklin began her legendary career as a precocious little girl singing Gospel and playing piano at her father`s Baptist church, and at the tender age of 14 she recorded her first Gospel album.
In 1960, at the age of 18, she spread her wings and embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only middling success. The Columbia executives didn`t realize they had a diamond in the rough, a genius waiting to make her mark on the music scene and the world. Instead of giving her the keys to the recording studio, and telling her “You go girl, do your thing” they attempted to package her for a mass (re: white audience.)
After six frustrating years with Columbia, Aretha signed with Atlantic Records, where she teamed with legendary producer Jerry Wexler, and the rest is history. Aretha recorded some of her most iconic songs during her Atlantic era, including Respect, You Make Me Feel like a Natural Woman, and Think.
Aretha enjoyed critical and commercial success in the 60s, 70`s, 80`s and beyond. The Queen conquered just about every musical genre, including Jazz, Soul, Funk, Blues and Gospel.
You`re the producers of the MTV VMA`s, how do you pay homage to the great Queen of Soul? You ask another black musical icon, a Quincy Jones or a Dionne Warwick to say a few words about the legend.
What you don`t do is ask a self-promoter like Madonna, pop legend though she may be, to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul. Anyone with two brain cells could have predicted that Madonna would pay “homage” to Aretha by babbling about herself, and only mentioning the soul legend in passing.
And to add insult to injury the Queen of Hype wore traditional African attire! Girlfriend please, adopting African children doesn`t make you an African!
The VMA`s and Madonna failed miserably in paying Respect to the Queen of Soul.