Written By, TheFreckledMuse/Angel White
Although we have been in a constant state of shock, mourning the loss of Prince, we quietly anticipated all of the many tributes that were sure to be done in his honor this award season. Recognizing a musician’s impact on the world with performances and tributes after they have passed, is one of the best ways to commemorate their legacy. But in many cases, the pressure that comes with that responsibility is way too much for one artist to take on. That may have been the case with Sunday’s, tribute to Prince by pop-icon Madonna on the Billboard Music Awards.
As soon as it was announced that she and she alone would give the Prince tribute fans took to social media in protest. The backlash was so loud that a petition was created on Change.org against the decision. The show’s executive producer, Mark Bracco was compelled to release a statement defending the whole idea.
“Listen, I think everybody is entitled to their opinion and everyone can have their own opinion, but I will say that we are honored and could not be more excited for Madonna to be on the show and to pay tribute to someone that was her friend and her peer and her colleague, I think it’s going to be fantastic.”
And so the show went on. Madonna appeared on a purple thrown, styled by B. Akerlund (who has styled others including Beyonce) rocking an embroidered, three-piece suit with swirling purple paisley print and frilled blouse courtesy of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele. The icon herself, with cane in hand – another nod to Prince, began singing her rendition of, “Nothing Compares 2 U”. Soon after, she was joined by living legend, Stevie Wonder for a duet of “Purple Rain” . The audience joined in to complete what was set to be a touching tribute.
Unfortunately, everyone was not impressed. The social media world was in a frenzy and soon after, the BET Network released a teaser-commercial for their Prince tribute with the caption:
“Yeah, we saw that. Don’t worry. We Got You.”
While many felt the ad was done in poor taste, just as many felt that the tribute was not enough when measured next to Prince’s contribution – one has to keep in mind that no tribute will ever be identical to the actual artist and it is a lot to expect from any artist. Vocally Madonna has never been a top talent but on the scale of entertainers, she is definitely high in the ranks, not to mention that Madonna and Prince have a long history together.
Madonna’s response via Instagram was very her, and so very Prince: