After publicly dismissing Madonna’s Billboard Music Awards Prince tribute on social media, BET now has to show that they can produce a tribute worthy of the “Purple Rain” artist. Yes, BET raised the expectations of Prince fans around the world when after the BMA Prince tribute, they sent out a tweet that promised more than Madonna’s respectful, yet lackluster performance.
“Yeah, we saw that. Don’t worry. We Got You.”
The BET Prince tribute will include Prince’s former fiancee and collaborator, Sheila E., as well as The Roots, D’Angelo, and Janelle Monae. Just added was Stevie Wonder, who also performed “Purple Rain” with Madonna at the BMAs. Apparently BET thought his performance was okay enough to join in with their highly-anticipated tribute.
In turn, Madonna responded to BET’s criticism of her performance with an impassioned statement. Madonna had a history with Prince. Not only did Madonna share the charts with Prince, but they briefly dated before she went on to marry her first husband, Sean Penn. She is not expected to perform, nor be in attendance at the BET Awards Show.
“Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to. Whatever your age Gender or skin Color. If you loved him and he inspired you then show it!!!! I love Prince 4 ever.”
Other than the list of performers, there is not a lot information given out about the Prince tribute. Sheila E. told E.T. that she is quite moved at the prospect of performing the music of Prince, and simply stated “We just want to celebrate and want to continue his music legacy.”
“It’s about his legacy, Those songs, he left them for us forever. They are forever embedded in all of us, and I think we’re going to have a wonderful time.”
— Global Grind (@GlobalGrind) June 24, 2016
Sheila E. has dedicated her next album, Girl Meets Boy, to Prince and has also added a butterfly tattoo to remind her of Prince.
“I’m carrying him now.”
Since the first tribute, there has been the official announcement of the cause of Prince’s death. The singer died on April 21 of an accidental drug overdose. The 57-year-old singer did not leave a will and currently, his estate is in a state of disarray with over 100 people laying claim to the musician’s millions.
— WOGL Radio (@wogl) June 26, 2016
The show will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, the stars of Black-ish, are the co-hosts of the three-hour musical event.
When Anderson and Ross interviewed each other for Salon, he asked if there will be anything outrageous planned for the show. Her answer harked back to the time that Prince infamously wore backless chaps at the VMAs in 1991. Could Anthony Anderson possibly be recreating this iconic fashion look by the departed rock icon? All we know is that Tracee Ellis Ross joked that there is a possibility that we will see Anderson’s rear end.
“There is a very strong possibility that you will see Anthony’s rear end. There is also an extremely strong possibility that you will not see mine.”
Besides the Prince tribute, there is a lot of speculation that BET will also honor the late, great boxer, Muhammad Ali. Ali died from Parkinson’s disease on June 3.
Other performances will be from Alicia Keys, Usher, Maxwell, Jennifer Hudson, Future, Desiigner, Erykah Badu, French Montana, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, and Chloe x Halle.
— Brandenslegacy (@Biographer1986) June 26, 2016
Nominees include Drake, with nine, and Rihanna and Beyoncé, each with five. There are rumors that Beyoncé will be attending, but no word on whether Drake will be there. Rihanna is in the midst of her European tour and will not be in attendance.
Actor Samuel L. Jackson will receive the BET lifetime achievement award. Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams will be awarded the humanitarian award for his activism. Spike Lee, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett, and Jamie Foxx will be presenting awards. There is a lot of speculation if Foxx will bring along his recently revealed girlfriend, Katie Holmes.
Are you looking forward to the Prince tribute?
[Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images]