Billboard Music Awards Prince Tribute: Madonna Wasn’t The Right Choice

Prince tributes will continue. Since the “Purple One” died suddenly, many are still expressing their grief. It seems as though he was taken to another planet without giving his fans an opportunity to say goodbye. The Billboard Music Awards chose Madonna to headline a Prince tribute. Fans protested by signing a petition on to stop Madge in her tracks, but it didn’t work. Some liked the performance, but many continued the protest via social media during the show and after it ended.

The fact that #BBMAs ended the night by having @Madonna do that pitiful @prince tribute. Thank God for #StevieWonder

— Karys S. Belger (@_MissPerspectiv) May 23, 2016

His Royal Highness set the bar so high. He was not limited to pop fame like Madonna. Prince could not be defined as pop, rock, funk, R&B, or anything else. His music was an effortless blend of many genres, and his musicality was undeniable. Unfortunately, there were more than a couple of issues with the tribute although Billboard is trying to convince the public that it was the best one at the awards, per Billboard.

First, seeing Madonna dressed in a suit similar to what Prince wore, while sitting on a purple throne-like chair was more than a bit disturbing. Those who are old enough may remember when Madge called Prince “a little troll.” Mind you, that was decades ago, and it has been noted that in later years, the two reconciled. But, long-time fans are still feeling devastated, nostalgic, and sensitive.

Another issue was the audio at the performance. While “Nothing Compares 2 U” was passable, it was nothing spectacular. Madonna, even at her peak, was never a great vocalist. She was a performer who dazzled audiences at her shows with elaborate dance routines, costume changes, and shocking effects; she was never known for the strength of her vocals.

There’s also that sing-along with Stevie Wonder. Was he originally intended to be there, or was he asked to come because Billboard was trying to save the day? That’s uncertain, but it is well-known that the audio quality during “Purple Rain” was poor. For a planned event, Billboard should have done better. After all, it was a tribute in memory of Prince.

When criticized for choosing Madonna as the featured soloist for the tribute, Billboard didn’t back down. QuestLove introduced Madonna before she sang and also helped with the engineering. He later defended Madge’s right to head a Prince tribute and say goodbye in her own way, per Rolling Stone. Many artists have paid homage to Prince at their concerts, but the best and most talented should be selected for public celebrations.

Unfortunately, the “Material Girl” singer responded horribly to criticism. She has been in the business long enough to know that it’s impossible to please everyone. Instead, she mentioned “skin color” on an Instagram post, perhaps being frustrated by those who say a black artist should have been featured instead. How about any artist who could have given an emotional rendition of the songs?

Instead, she went into the “I’m not your b***h…” mode, which is classless. Above all else, Prince was a class act.

After the show, BET promised a Prince tribute that will honor the memory of “The Artist.”

[Photo by Chris Pizzello/Envision/AP]