Madonna speaks onstage during the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

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Madonna Under Fire After Bizarre Aretha Franklin Tribute

Critics say the Queen of Pop’s Monday night tribute to the Queen of Soul was self-indulgent and inappropriate.

Madonna is enduring a storm of criticism after she gave a strange and self-indulgent tribute to the late Aretha Franklin on Monday night at the MTV Video Music Awards, Rolling Stone reports.

Donning bizarre costumes many on Twitter were quick to condemn as cultural appropriation, Elias Leight writes of Madonna’s dedication: “Madonna proceeded to launch into a lengthy story about her own attempts to break into a singing career. The story had little to do with Franklin, though Madonna did note that she performed “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at one of her auditions.

“That audition led her to move to Paris, then back to the U.S., and eventually Madonna pivoted back to Franklin. “You’re probably all wondering why I’m telling you this story,” she said, and she wasn’t wrong. “None of [my success] would’ve happened, could’ve happened, without our Lady of Soul.”

Madonna continued on, Leight reports, acknowledging Franklin’s influence on “so many people in this house tonight,” but many thought the lengthy speech missed its mark in both relevance in sincerity.

Take a look at Madonna’s speech — and some of the reactions to it — below. What do you think? Is the criticism warranted?

Read the full story at Rolling Stone