Questlove introduced the tribute, comparing Prince’s death to an “earthquake” and allowing a moment of silence to memorialize the singer.
Following the silence, Prince’s voice rang through the venue with his iconic “Dearly beloved…” intro to “Let’s Go Crazy.” Madonna, who collaborated with the singer for “Love Song” off Like a Prayer, appeared onstage on a throne, wearing a glittery purple suit.
Towards the end of her cover of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, Wonder walked onstage to sing “Purple Rain” before the audience turned the tribute into a massive sing-a-long.
Video + more details below…
Many social media rants were posted following Madonna’s performance and ‘Black Twitter’ dragged the Billboard awards tribute to Prince, calling it downright disrespectful…
— dr.* deray mckesson (@deray) May 23, 2016
BET (Black Entertainment Television) even threw some major shade with a tweet promoting its own awards show which will also feature a tribute to the late music legend.
— BET (@BET) May 23, 2016
BET has not announced what its tribute to Prince will include or which artists will participate, but it seems the network is confident the awards show will have a more fitting memorial than what the BBMAs had to offer.
VIDEO: Madonna’s Prince Tribute (Billboard 2016) – Snippet