Press Pictures: Madonna Pays Tribute to Michael Jackson
Press Pictures: Madonna Backstage at the MTV VMAs

Madonna wrote Jackson speech 'from my heart'

After delivering her heartfelt tribute to the late Michael Jackson at the VMAs, Madonna talked with MTV News' Jim Cantiello about her speech backstage.
'Michael Jackson was born in August 1958,' her speech began. 'So was I. Michael Jackson grew up in the suburbs of the Midwest. So did I. Michael Jackson had eight brothers and sisters. So do I. When Michael Jackson was 6 he became a superstar and was perhaps the world's most beloved child. When I was 6 my mother died. I think he got the shorter end of the stick.'
She went on to talk about the time they spent together, her admiration for his talent, his 'vulnerability and charm,' and her sons' love for his music.
After the show, with a somber face, Madonna explained just how much the dedication to Jackson meant to her.
'[It was] extremely important because I didn't really have my chance to pay my last respects to him or speak of him in the way that I wanted to,' the Material Girl said. 'It was a privilege and an honor for me to say what I had to say.'
'[It] took me all week to write [the speech], and I just wrote it from my heart,' she added. 'And I kept slashing and burning and editing.'
While she did admit that she left out some choice MJ anecdotes, it was purely in the interest of time.
'I really cut it down. It was painful,' she said. 'I said what I had to say at the end of the day.'


Madonna's full speech can be read online at


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