"You're probably all wondering why I'm telling you this story", she said. "You make me realise every day, [that] the sky is not the limit".
Instead of talking about the Queen of Soul, Madonna launched into a story about herself and recalled singing an Aretha Franklin song at an audition that led to her big career break. "You are my macho, and I love you". "I could see that they didn't take me seriously, and why should they?" I had no training or dreams of ever becoming a singer, but I went for it. "Long live the queen", Twitter immediately dragged, roasted and read Madonna for filth for making the tribute about herself and her journey as a pop star - whether it was intentional or not. "I don't know what I said, I don't know what came over me".
We've assembled the best Twitter reactions (to Madonna's speech and the rest of the VMAs) below for your perusal. "None of [my success] would've happened, could've happened, without our Lady of Soul". Actually, who everyone?Show some R-E-S-P-E-C-TMadonna gets roasted P.S. why is Travis Scott dressed like a minion?More news: Chelsea Star Celebrates Arsenal Win With Passionate Message To Fans
"The "Like A Virgin" singer opened the segment by saying Franklin had "changed the course" of her life, and shared that when she was an aspiring singer and dancer she sang Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel A) Natural Woman" acapella during an unsuccessful audition. Madonna stepped out on the stage at the VMAs adorned in a graduation robe and what looks like everything from her jewelry box paid homage to the Queen of Soul...but it wasn't the tribute many people had in mind. Most of the tribute to Franklin, however, was spent explaining the early origins of Madonna's career.
"Does Madonna know Madonna didn't die", wrote ESPN's Katie Nolan.
Madonna's rambling tribute was both heartfelt and a cautionary tale about what happens when you reach a certain stratosphere where the obscene wealth and fame insulates you from people who might challenge your shitty ideas and ultimately protect you from your own delusions.
Someone wrote that Madonna's speech demonstrated "a dynamic performance of peak white womanhood".