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Watch Madonna and Stevie Wonder Pay Tribute to Prince at the Billboard Music Awards

Watch Madonna and Stevie Wonder Pay Tribute to Prince at the Billboard Music Awards

Prince, Michael Jackson, and Madonna. If you grew up during the ’80s and early ’90s, these three were the undisputed “Holy Trinity” of pop music. Each of these artists—all of whom were born in the summer of 1958 in the Midwest—helped define not only music during the MTV decade, but also fashion. Now, with the passing of Prince earlier this month, only one of them is still with us, and last night Madonna chose to honor her friend in a musical tribute at the Billboard Music Awards.

Before Madonna took to the stage, The Roots’ Questlove spoke lovingly about the the musical icon, and correctly referred to the Prince’s death as  “an earthquake” in the muscial community. He continued by saying “we can follow the trails he blazed and his example. We can be fierce, uncompromising, experimental, and we can also listen to all the songs he left for us. He was very generous in that regard.”

After Questlove’s speech, the crowd got on their feet to Prince’s spoken famous word intro to “Let’s Go Crazy.” Next, Madonna, decked out in lavender and lace and sitting on a purple throne, singing the Prince-written tune “Nothing Compares 2 U,” made famous by singer Sinead O’Connor back in 1990. Madonna was then joined by musical legend Stevie Wonder,  and together they sang Prince’s signature classic “Purple Rain.”

This performance wasn’t without controversy, of course. As soon as Madonna was announced as being the artist Billboard chose, there was outcry from fans who deemed her “not worthy” of doing the tribute; fans even created an online petition to remove her from doing the job, and be replaced with a younger, more “relevant” artist. Drake, for instance.

Here’s why that was incredibly stupid: Madonna is arguably the most iconic of Prince’s age appropriate peers who is still living, especially with not only Michael Jackson but also Whitney Houston now gone. And unlike those latter two artists, Madonna actually worked with Prince. They did a duet on her Like A Prayer album called “Love Song,” and that’s Prince on guitar you hear at the beginning of “Like A Prayer” as well.

On top of that, Madonna also dated Prince in the ’80s, and the Sheila E./Prince duet “A Love Bizarre“—which was written by Prince—has long been rumored to have been written about his relationship with the Material Girl. Although the two would spat here and there over the years, they ultimately remained friends, and Prince performed a private concert for Madonna in Paisley Park just last October. So to all those people who say Prince wouldn’t have approved because he “hated Madonna,” well, that’s simply not true. Do your homework, internet haters.

You can watch a portion of Madonna and Stevie Wonder’s touching tribute to the late, great Prince below, thanks to Instagram user rafadbsk.

What did you think of the touching tribute to the Purple One last night? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Image: ABC Television

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