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Madonna gave a speech about the Queen of Soul's influence on her life and how she owes a major part of her career to Franklin. "Aretha Louise Franklin changed the course of my life," Madonna said in her speech.
The star provided an anecdote about just how her musical trajectory would not be the same without Franklin. In her early 20s, the "Like a Virgin" singer auditioned in front of two French record producers and sang Franklin's hit "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman." Madonna's a Capella cover of the song was enough to woo over the producers who helped launch her music career. "None of this would have happened, could have happened, without our lady of soul. She led me to where I am today. And I know she influenced so many people in this house night. In this room tonight. And I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us," she said.
"Long live the queen," the Queen of Pop said.