Bleats

Madonna Farewells Leo Season By Making Her VMAs Aretha Franklin Tribute Speech A Tribute To Herself And People Are Not Stoked

The tragic death of Aretha Franklin coincided with Madonna's 60th birthday, and clearly Madonna is fine with sharing the spotlight.

UPDATE 22 August, 2018: Madonna responded to criticism of her VMAs speech via an Instagram post, which reads:

“And just to clarify: 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! 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.

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. #vmas#postivevibes”

21 August:

Madonna had the honour at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards of delivering the tribute speech to the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, and she objectively bombed it.

People are seething that the homage was usurped by Madonna talking mostly about her own career and success story. It was disrespectful and truly bizarre.

As Madonna launched into her long-winded tale – of which Madonna was undoubtedly the protagonist – the whole speech felt like a darkly comedic caricature of the traits infamously attributed to her star sign.

‘Leos love to steal the spotlight’ is usually just an inconsequential joke, but Madonna really made a speech that could have been bad sketch parody. It was painful to watch.

“I left Detroit when I was 18, $35 in my pocket — my dream was to make it as a dancer,” Maddona shared, for some reason.

Basically Madonna tried to pass off her story as relevant because it was Franklin’s song that helped her (Madonna) to nail an audition that changed her (Madonna’s) career and life.

“There is a connection!” she insisted. “Because none of this would have happened, could have happened without our Lady of Soul.”

To add insult to injury, Madonna was delivering her ‘tribute’ while wearing an outfit and hairstyle that is being heavily (and fairly) criticised for culturally appropriating African culture.

From her braids to the headpiece modelled after those traditionally worn by an ethnic minority of North Africa, Madonna’s choice of words and style underlined the sourness of a white woman failing to pay proper respect to a black woman.

The worst part though might have been when “Bitch, I’m Madonna” was an actual line that was weaved into this “Aretha Franklin homage”.

Or maybe when she followed up her barely-Aretha-related anecdote with an anecdote exclusively about her own ‘Like a Virgin’ performance at the first VMAs.

I think Madonna took Leo Season too seriously.

All in all, the whole thing was a train wreck and Aretha Franklin deserves infinitely better.

An Official Investigation Into Which Madonna Is The Best Madonna That Is Definitely Not Just Fangirling Over Her In Honour Of Her 60th Birthday

Gaultier cone bra Madonna? Duet with Britney Madonna? Only one Madonna can win.

Madonna is a force to be reckoned with. She is a legend, an icon, a game changer, a star, and she is celebrating her 60th birthday today. Happy birthday Madonna!

To this day Madonna continues to be boldly present and unapologetically herself, even though society still clings to the backwards notion that women should merely fade away gracefully after the ripe age of about 29. Classic society, ha ha ha.

Madonna upholds her career-long reputation for defiance with no sign of slowing down, and we all continue to worship the pop queen.

In honour of her 60th birthday, we are reflecting on the many iterations of Madonna that we have had the pleasure to enjoy. Her mastery of perpetual transformation has allowed her to constantly reinvent herself, while staying very much herself.

Madonna has been so many places and done so many things in her career, and it is time to decide, once and for all, which Madonna is the best Madonna.

In no particular order, let’s take a look at our nominees.

Gaultier Cone Bra Madonna

Madonna changed the world as we know it when she stepped out on her 1990 Blonde Ambition Tour in the Jean Paul Gaultier cone bra. She absolutely bloody rocked the now-iconic structured pink corset and led the way for lingerie to be acceptable outerwear.

So huge shout out to Madonna for turning underwear into mainstream fashion. Much appreciated. Cone bra Madonna is a hero.

Super Bowl Madonna

Madonna raked in a record number of viewers for her epic 2012 Super Bowl halftime show where she brought out Nicki Minaj, Cee Lo Green, LMFAO and M.I.A., who controversially flipped her off on stage. It’s a mixed bag of guest artists but the whole performance was a power move nonetheless.

Points for large-scale elaborateness.

Material Girl Madonna

The pink dress, the cash, the men, the diamonds. The whole song is pretty much a glorious homage to Marilyn Monroe’s performance of ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Madonna channeling the fellow blonde and beautiful legend is the meta glamour aesthetic dreams are made of. A Madonna I aspire to.

Austin Powers Madonna

Madonna singing ‘Beautiful Stranger’: a vibe. Madonna fondling Austin Powers: a vibe? Unsure.

Maybe though.

Explicit Coffee-Table Book Madonna

Making a splash is Madonna’s forte, like in 1992 when Madonna released her coffee-table book: Sex. It’s full of erotic and nude photos (including of herself) and it’s probably peak transgressive Madonna. Potentially. So much transgressive Madonna to choose from!

I reckon the book is the kind of sex-positive feminist content we can get on board with and I’m extremely into Madonna’s unapologetic ownership of her sexuality. A staple of her image.

Explicit Coffee-Table Book Madonna is a real contender.

Dating Tupac Madonna

Remember when Madonna and Tupac dated!!! That’s all.

Like a Virgin VMAs Madonna

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6iNtdCjwiM

There are few moments in Madonna’s career as iconic as her performance of ‘Like a Virgin’ at the first-ever MTV VMAs in 1984. Gyrating and writhing around suggestively in a wedding-dress-meets-promiscuous-girl aesthetic while moaning out lyrics about virginity really put Madonna and the award event on the map.

‘Like a Virgin’ inevitably hit #1 on the Hot 100 and her ‘Boy Toy’ belt and bride look will never be forgotten. 10/10 Madonna.

Says F*** A Lot To David Letterman Madonna

The year is 1994, March 31. Madonna appears on the Late Show With David Letterman and proceeds to say f*** 14 times. She also hands her underwear over and asks David Letterman to smell them.

It was the most-censored network talk-show appearance in history, and absolutely fantastic content. Likes To Say F*** Madonna is definitely a crowd favourite.

Mother Madonna

Madonna has six kids and is an absolutely boss, multi-faceted woman! Motherhood is the most powerful of all the human forms so we’re bowing down to Mother Madonna for sure. And mothers everywhere. (Love you Mum!!!).

Women’s March Madonna

Madonna fighting for women’s rights, using her platform champion feminism, condemning Donald Trump and refusing to be quiet – now that’s some raw, valuable action.

My personal favourite Madonna is definitely the feisty activist who says she’s thought a lot about blowing up the White House.

Tight With Britney Madonna

‘Me Against the Music’ is hands-down a fantastic song, and we saw a new side of Madonna as she played mentor to the younger female pop star, Britney Spears. Women helping other women while wearing sexy pant suit outfits and singing a banger of a song! Sign me up!

Also, lest we forget her infamous onstage kiss with Britney Spears at the VMAs 20 years after her breakthrough ‘Like a Prayer’ performance on that same stage.

No one scandalises an audience quite like Madonna, though let’s leave performative lesbian kisses in 2003.

Acting Madonna

Madonna also dabbled in acting throughout her career because she’s all talent and no rest. She particularly rocked it in Desperately Seeking Susan and A League of Their Own which both gifted us some absolutely inspirational 80’s Madonna fashion aesthetics.

What can’t Madonna do?

Heavenly Bodies Met Gala Madonna

There is nothing more perfect than Madonna giving a surprise performance at this year’s Heavenly Bodies Met Gala. Nothing.

Philanthropic Madonna

For her 60th birthday, Madonna has asked fans to do just one thing – support a Raising Malawi fund-raiser. Madonna has been dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children in the African nation and co-founded the Raising Malawi non-profit.

Philanthropy guys, get around it.

Voguing Madonna

Madonna took Voguing from the New York underground ballroom scene of the 80’s and brought it onto the main stage of international fame with her #1 hit and video.

Who among us does not feel immediately perkier when they hear the familiar sound of Madonna chirping “Vogue, vogue. Let your body mooooove to the muuuusic. Hey, hey, hey”? No one.

Right Now Madonna

And the winner is…Right Now Madonna! A late intruder into the game! This is the most recent photo I could locate of the legend but I bet wherever she is right now she is fabulous. 

Right Now Madonna is all of these previous Madonna’s at once with all the acquired wisdom of her lifetime. So for today, the official winner is 60th birthday Madonna.

Wow. What a good and wholesome outcome to this scientific investigation.

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