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Kandi Burruss Goes In on Madonna’s Aretha Franklin Tribute

Kandi Burruss was one of many who didn’t think Madonna’s tribute to the late Aretha Franklin was up to par, and she held nothing back about how the Queen of Pop made her tribute to the Queen of Soul all about herself.

Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 17 after battling advanced pancreatic cancer. Madonna recognizing the icon at the MTV Video Music Awards was announced late Monday and many viewers — including “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star — were baffled by Madge’s monologue.

“Did Madonna just tell that long ass f–king story to say thank you to Aretha?” Burruss says on Instagram Live Monday, Aug. 20 before letting out a big sigh and rolling her eyes. “She made that whole thing about her when it should have just been about Aretha Franklin.”

At the ceremony, Madonna walked out on the stage after MTV aired a clip of Franklin performing Dionne Warwick’s “I Say a Little Prayer.” Then, the Material Girl began her story about her early performing days and how Franklin played a part in it.

“Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life. I left Detroit when I was 18, $35 in my pocket. My dream was to make it as a professional dancer,” the 60-year-old pop star said began of her tribute. “After years of struggling and being broke, I decided to go to auditions for musical theater. I had no training or dreams of ever becoming a singer but I went for it. I got cut and rejected from every audition — not tall enough, not blend-in enough, not 12-octave range enough, not pretty enough. Not enough.”

Madge went on to discuss her auditioning for a “French disco sensation” where she danced and announced she’d sing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” acapella.

“I could see that they did not take me seriously — and why should they? Some skinny ass white girl is going to come up here and belt out a song by one of the greatest soul singers that ever lived? And a cappella … I said, ‘B—-, I’m Madonna.’ No, I didn’t, I didn’t say that. ‘Cause I wasn’t Madonna yet. I don’t know who I was. I don’t know what I said, I don’t know what came over me.”

Madonna concluded by attempting to make a connection with how the story about the early stages of her career linked to Franklin.

“So you’re probably all wondering why I’m telling you this story. There’s a connection because none of this would’ve happened — could’ve happened — without our lady of soul,” she said. “She led me to where I am today and I know she influenced so many people in this house tonight, in this room tonight, and I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Long live the queen.”

Much like Burruss, others online had similar reactions to the tribute.


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