Madonna: Comments at VMAs weren't 'tribute' to Aretha

"I did not intend to do a tribute to her!" the singer wrote on Instagram

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

Madonna has responded to widespread criticism of her supposed tribute to Aretha Franklin on Monday night's MTV Video Music Awards by saying it was never meant to be a tribute to Aretha at all. 

Madonna presents a tribute to Aretha Franklin at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Mondayn New York.

"Just to clarify: I was asked to present video of the year by MTV!" Madonna wrote in a post on Instagram on Tuesday. "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."

Madonna continued, "Unfortunately most people have short attention spans, and are so quick to judge. I love Aretha! R.E.S.P.E.C.T." 

Madonna's appearance on Monday's VMAs — which followed a video of Aretha Franklin performing "I Say a Little Prayer" and was backed by a huge backdrop of Franklin — was blasted for being more about Madonna than it was about the Queen of Soul. 

Madonna weathered the criticism of her tribute and her wardrobe, a black robe accented by heaps of jewelry and a spiked headpiece, by accentuating the positive. 

"I LOVE my dress! AND. I love-L O V E!!" she wrote. "and there is nothing anyone can say or do that will change that. #vmas #postivevibes."