Madonna And Stevie Wonder Awkwardly Saluted Prince At The Billboard Music Awards

Madonna, what were you thinking?


In what turned out to be an ill-advised decision, the 2016 Billboard Music Awards chose Madonna to headline a tribute to the late Prince Rogers Nelson on Sunday night, but Stevie Wonder saved the day when he joined her onstage for a rendition of “Purple Rain.”

Perhaps the idea was to give Prince the royal treatment, but after an introduction from Prince superfan Questlove, the performance opened with Madonna atop a purple throne, wearing a shimmery pale purple tuxedo, before launching into a cover of “Nothing Compares 2U,” the song Prince wrote for Sinead O’Connor, not Madonna.

It wasn’t very good. And even though expectations were low going into it, Madonna’s performance did not seem to change anyone’s mind about whether she was the appropriate person to honor Prince: Twitter pretty much eviscerated her. But BET — which will feature a Prince tribute of its own at the BET awards next month — had the best (and snarkiest) response:

Things improved significantly when Stevie Wonder appeared for a duet of “Purple Rain” But it probably would have been better as a solo performance. Head over to Rolling Stone for a clip of the unfortunate performance. 

Prince deserved better, and we hope BET delivers on its promise.