John Legend picking a favorite Aretha song is like eating just one potato chip … it’s just impossible. John was flying solo Thursday night at Craig’s in WeHo, when our photog asked if one song from the Queen stood out. Check out John’s answer. He…
Smokey Robinson was a lifelong friend of Aretha’s, with way too many memories to isolate just one. We got the legendary singer/songwriter at LAX Thursday, where he was leaving for Detroit to attend the Queen’s funeral. Smokey knew Aretha since he…
Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow has one busy — and bittersweet — weekend ahead of her. Debbie plans to attend services for Aretha Franklin in Detroit AND John McCain in Washington D.C. — all in about 48 hours. The Senator tells us it’s going to…
TMZ just got a list of the performers who will take the mic at Aretha Franklin’s memorial next Thursday, and it’s awesome!!! Check this out: The Four TopsGladys KnightJohnny GillRon IsleyKiki SheardKurt CarrJean CarneDoug CarnRonnie McNeirLJ…
Aretha Franklin shockingly left no will behind … which is surprising given her circumstances. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the singer died “intestate” — meaning she had no will at the time of death. It’s especially…
The Material Girl went ahead on Monday night and earned herself a new nickname:
The Narcissistic, Disrespectful, Rambling Woman Who Managed to Screw Up a Tribute to Arguably the Greatest Singer of All-Time.
It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it does sum up what transpired yesterday evening at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards.
Prior to presenting the award for Video of the Year (which went to Camila Cabello), the 60-year old singer was asked to talk about Aretha Franklin, who died last Thursday at the age of 73.
But instead of saying nice things about this iconic artist, Madonna told a rambling story about, well… herself.
You see, a long time ago, Madonna was struggling to make it as a dancer, so she went to a musical theater audition with a group of French producers.
“Why not?” she thought at the time, telling this long story on stage in front of a consued crowd and adding:
“The worst that can happen is I can go back to getting robbed, held at gunpoint, and being mistaken for a prostitute in my third-floor walk-up that was also a crack house.”
Okay, sure. Yeah. Tell us more, Madge…
It turned out that Madonna nailed the dance portion of the audition yet she panicked when those in charge asked her to produce sheet music and sing.
She wasn’t prepared for such a request!
“I had to think fast. My next meal was on the line,” she said, finally bringing this winding tale back to the late subject at suppose hand:
“Fortunately, one of my favorite albums was Lady Soul by Aretha Franklin. I blurted out, ‘You Make Me Feel!’ Silent. ‘You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman!’”
So… Madonna sang this famous song, the producers loved it, but she actually didn’t get the gig.
She did get a job in Paris as a result of the audition, though, and… SIGH.
You really need to just watch clips from this convoluted, self-serving speech below:
How did an Aretha Franklin tribute end up being a story all about Madonna’s early years as an entertainer?
Simple, Madonna explained in a follow-up Instagram post: This was never supposed to be a tribute!
“I was asked to present video of the year by MTV! And then they asked me to share any anecdotes I had in my career connected to Aretha Franklin!” wrote Madonna as a caption to a photo (below) of her and Cabello.
Continued Madonna in her own defense:
“I shared a part of my journey and thanked Aretha for inspiring me along the way. 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. I could never do her justice in this context or environment.”
Madonna did conclude her speech at the VMAs by stating:
None of this would have happened, could have happened without our Lady of Soul. She led me to where I am today.
And I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight. I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Not very apologetic in her Instagram post, Madonna slammed her critics and reiterated her affection for Franklin, closing her statement as follows:
“Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge. I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
“I Love Camilla! Congrats! I LOVE my dress! AND. I love-L O V E!! and there is nothing anyone can say or do that will change that.”
Well… okay then!
We guess that settles that.
Madonna loves Aretha. And Cabello. And her own fashion taste. And love in general.
And, let’s not forget what Madonna also loves most of all, even in the wake of maybe the most influential artist in history passing away.
The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards proved that both Jennifer Lopez and Madonna pretty much never age or change.
The former was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the ceremony and also put on an incredible performance that showed off her dance moves and her ridiculous body.
The latter, meanwhile, stood on stage and was tasked with paying tribute to Aretha Franklin, the truly legendary singer who passed away last week from cancer.
But most viewers think she made this tribute all about herself.
Following a video of Franklin’s “I Say a Little Prayer” on a big screen, members of the audience – including Lopez and Camila Cabello – were reduced to tears as they remembered the iconic artist.
Madonna then spent her segment in front of the crowed rambling on about the impact Franklin had on her career.
This maybe, possibly could have worked.
Madonna could maybe, possibly have brought everything back around and used her tale as a way to depict the enormous impact Aretha had on the entire music industry.
Instead, though, she barely even mentioned Franklin by name.
At one point, for example, Madonna 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.
She explained that she ended up belting out this track “by heart,” acapella.
And then said that the two men for whom she was auditioning didn’t believe “some skinny-ass white girl” was going to “[sing] a song by one of the greatest soul singers that ever lived.”
No one watching had any idea what this had to do with Franklin herself. It just sounded like Madonna giving herself a great deal of props.
Social media was quick to erupt with criticism for the strange, self-serving way in which The Material Girl essentially ignored the entire point of this Franklin tribute.
Madonna did end up saying at least a few nice words about Franklin.
She concluded her rambling speech as follows:
“I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen.”
But the damage had already been done.
Some folks are even calling for an apology to be issued, as explained by these two individuals on Twitter:
I hope the vmas plan to issue a public apology for allowing Madonna to disrespect Aretha Franklin’s legacy like that #VMAs.
“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.
Come on, you are probably thinking.
Could this have been all THAT bad?
Welp, we’ve posted snippets of Madonna’s speech below. Go ahead and find out for yourself!
Stevie Wonder choked back tears during an interview in which he revealed his last words to Aretha Franklin before she died. Stevie joined “CBS This Morning” Friday and almost immediately got emotional when asked about his…
Actor Jim Carrey has been pouring his heart and soul into paintings and sharing them on social media.
Those paintings — like his unflattering portrait of Sarah Huckabee Sanders — have sometimes proven to be controversial.
He did a portrait of the late, great Aretha Franklin, but it is not going over well. Did he paint her as a white woman?
The legendary Aretha Franklin passed away at 76 years of age after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Jim Carrey, known for posting his paintings on Twitter as a form of commentary on current events, shared a portrait of her.
“Look how beautiful a life can be,’ Carrey wrote as he shared the image.
Carrey continued: “Thank you, Aretha!”
The painting that he included of the Queen of Soul, however, caused quite a stir.
Do you see what was controversial about this painting?
In life, Aretha Franklin was a dark-skinned black woman. She is one of the most famous black women on the planet.
In Carrey’s painting, Aretha’s skin looks very, very white in tone.
So much so that, without context, some would never have recognized the subject of his work.
And folks on Twitter took to the replies to notice.
This is not a unique phenomenon, unfortunately.
Whitewashing is found in fanart from all sorts of fandoms. People have drawn famous black women, from real ones like Beyonce to fictional ones like Storm or Tiana, with skin so fair that they don’t even look like tan white people.
Sometimes, there is a genuine prejudice behind it. Racism is real, and sometimes that malice makes its way into art.
In other cases, however, it comes from a lack of familiarity with how to draw or paint someone with dark brown skin.
Some art classes simply don’t train people in it. And because so many white faces dominate pop culture, a lot of white artists do not get much practice.
(As you can see, one person even tweaked the image to pay more accurate tribute to Aretha’s skin tone)
We do not think that Jim Carrey was in any way malicious or racist in his intentions.
Rather, his very light painting was the result of white supremacy’s impact on our culture and the arts as a whole.
This can be a useful learning experience for Carrey and for aspiring artists.
And if you’re ever unsure of how you’re portraying someone, you can always look up online resources — or just ask someone.
The spirit of what Carrey did was, of course, great.
Aretha Franklin touched countless hearts and minds with her incredible voice.
It is only fitting that he and other artists want to honor her and her passing.
But sometimes, people screw up — even if it’s something seemingly small. And that can come across as an unintended insult to marginalized communities.
We all need to be conscious of what we do and how we do it in order to be good people.
Otherwise, our respectful tributes seem like an insult.
How’s this for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T? One of Aretha Franklin’s favorite joints paid tribute to the late singer with a gigantic banner making it crystal clear … she’ll never be forgotten. Hollywood’s famous Pink’s Hot…