Billboard Awards: Madonna’s Prince Tribute at Has Everyone Talking—And It’s Not All Good
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.
I’m watching the Billboard Awards and I really miss me.
— Bruno Mars (@BrunoMars) May 23, 2016
— Karys S. Belger (@_MissPerspectiv) May 23, 2016
— A Tribe Called Chris (@ChrisPaulComedy) May 23, 2016
— Reality Wives TV (@realitywivestv) May 23, 2016
— Reallyfamous (@R3allyfamous) May 23, 2016
I’m bout to go on stage and help Madonna pic.twitter.com/0v9nib7WJ4
— yeatre (@yeahhtre) May 23, 2016
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.
Madonna doing the prince tribute is a complete abomination.
— glitter pussy (@LORTVOLDEM0RT) May 13, 2016
Madonna 4 a Prince tribute is like tryna to convince your kids that ur unseasoned boiled cauliflower dish is the same as 4 cheese lasagna.
— Ayan Mahdi (@ayanada_) May 13, 2016
I can NOT be the only one angry that Madonna is doing Billboard’s Prince tribute.
— Tatyana (@Naticreblaxican) May 13, 2016
Whose awful idea was it to have Madonna do the Prince tribute at the Billboard Music Awards??
— Allison W. Good (@Allison_Good1) May 13, 2016
Watch the performance above and decide for yourself.