On Sunday [May 22] the world watched as Madonna paid tribute to Prince at the Billboard Music Awards, with the singer performing “Nothing Compares 2 U” before Stevie Wonder joined her onstage for “Purple Rain.”
While the performance has been one of the highlights of the awards shows, not everyone was feeling it. BET, sensing the overall displeasure, announced they will be doing a tribute to the purple icon during this summer’s BET Awards in the shadiest way possible.
— BET (@BET) May 23, 2016
Although many fans were pleased to hear that the network planned another tribute, Questlove—who helped engineer the Prince tribute and introduced it—defended the performance via his Twitter, saying that any negativity toward the tribute is a part of natural progression while mourning the icon’s death.
“So w/ mourning will come sadness & anger. 1st week I cried. 2nd week I tried to atone for his sins w gettin 8-10 hrs of sleep he didn’t get. So I know there is gonna be ALOT of “feel a certain ways” about who you want to see do his music justice—but you gotta put that aside yall. Every Prince rendition will not be a life changing orgasmic xperience. Just to SING his work is brave enough. Again feeling are on high and EVERYBODY wants and deserves a chance to say goodbye in their own way. But remember: there will be AMAs, SoulTrain, NAACP, mtv, GRAMMYS and a gazillion other tributes. But the point is let’s not get ugly w playing the “Prince would and wouldn’t approve” game.”
In the midst of the complaints and controversy, Madonna also took to her Instagram page to defend her performance as well, stating that, “Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to. Whatever your age Gender or skin Color. If you loved him and he inspired you then show it!!!! I love Prince 4 ever.”
In case you missed it, check out the performance below.