Billboard Awards: Madonna’s Prince Tribute at Has Everyone Talking—And It’s Not All Good

By Chika Dunu
Chika Dunu
Chika Dunu
May 23, 2016 Updated: May 23, 2016

Tributes have continued to pour in for iconic musician Prince from many, many stars—Jimmy Fallon, Beyonce, Paul McCartney—and feedback has been mostly positive.

That is until a Madonna tribute performance during the May 22 airing of this year’s Billboard Music Awards.

“All of us live in the land of music and his departure was an earthquake,” Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson said before the performance. “I just want to take a moment to remember the great Prince Rogers Nelson.”

An emotional Madonna—who is legendary in her own right—took the stage in a paisley purple suit to perform “Nothing Compares 2 U,” as images of Prince projected on the screen behind her. She was later joined by Stevie Wonder and the pair performed “Purple Rain.”

At the conclusion of the performance, Madonna thanked Prince for his contributions to the music industry.

“Most of all, thank you Prince Rogers Nelson for all that you’ve given us,” Madonna said.

While the audience appeared to enjoy themselves—even a dab from Rihanna—cyberspace wasn’t too please with the “Like a Virgin” singer.

Reactions from Twitter viewers ranged from disgust to anger.

When Billboard announced Madonna as the choice to pay tribute to Prince, producers were met with criticism—including a petition to stop the performance. Fans took to social media to voice their displeasure.

Watch the performance above and decide for yourself.

Chika Dunu