The music industry lost one of its very brightest stars last week with the death of the unrivaled Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.
Franklin, 76 at the time of her death, passed away last Thursday following a battle with pancreatic cancer. The loss was felt acutely, as all across the nation (and the world) people expressed their condolences and memories of the legendary singer.
Ariana Grande set the stage on Thursday evening with her performance of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” on The Tonight Show.
As MTV’s Video Music Awards took place just days following the singer’s death, it made sense that the awards show would pay tribute to the late great as well.
Celebrating Franklin’s legacy, Madonna delivered a speech about her personal connection to Franklin, explaining that she sang “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the audition that initially launched her career.
Madge illuminated the fact that Franklin served as an inspiration to so many burgeoning singers.
Though the singer's message was clear, many were critical of her delivery and the lack of actual Franklin-context in her speech.