Madonna presents a tribute to Aretha Franklin at the MTV...

Madonna presents a tribute to Aretha Franklin at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan on Monday. Credit: AP / Invision / Chris Pizzello

The MTV Video Music Awards may bill itself as the brashest, most unconventional award show, but on Monday night there was plenty of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. However, some complained Madonna didn't pay enough attention to the late Aretha Franklin in her tribute to the Queen of Soul.

Franklin died of pancreatic cancer at her home in Detroit on Thursday morning at age 76, which had VMA producers scrambling to work out a proper tribute at Monday’s show. They landed Madonna.

“Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life,” said Madonna, 60, with a giant portrait of Franklin behind her, as she began a story about how she sang “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” a capella for French disco producer Giorgio Moroder, who then helped her with her career. “None of this could have happened without our Lady of Soul. Long live The Queen.”

However, after Madonna's lengthy, personal speech about how her love of Franklin's "Lady Soul" album helped launch her career, some online questioned why it focused so much on her.

"I'm so lost," radio host Charlamagne Tha God tweeted. "I thought Madonna was supposed to be paying homage to Aretha but all I heard was her paying homage to herself."

Entertainment Weekly's Marc Snetiker tweeted that the tribute was "Madonna presents an Aretha Franklin tribute by Madonna featuring Madonna with Madonna and Madonna as 'Madonna'."

However, there were other tributes to Franklin throughout the nearly three-hour show at Radio City Music Hall. Travis Scott ended his performance by saying, “Rest in peace, Queen of Soul.”

And even before the show, the Queen of Soul was on some artists’ minds.

“We lost a legend, but I feel her music will live on for the rest of time,” said Jericho native Madison Beer, as she walked down the pink-colored red carpet.  “I was always told that I had a soulful voice and I used to sing ‘Respect’ all the time. She was one of my idols growing up as well.”

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