As the final act of the Billboard Music Awards last night, Madonna paid tribute to Prince covering Nothing Compares 2 U before she sang Purple Rain with Stevie Wonder.
Questlove introduced the tribute asking for a moment of silence to memorialize the Purple One. Then in that iconic and now prophetic intro to Let’s Go Crazy Prince’s voice rang out,
“Dearly beloved… we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.“
Madonna then appeared onstage on a throne in purple homage suit, offering a somber version of Nothing Compares 2 U, which Prince wrote for Sinead O’Connor. Then Stevie Wonder walked onstage to hold hands with Madge and belt Purple Rain with a massive audience sing-a-long.
Prince and Madonna dated in 1985, a few years before the Love Song duet. However, things were on again off again between the pair for the next few decades. They carried on a feud that seemed to end in 2011 when Madonna attended one of Prince’s concerts.
But in a 2013 interview with Billboard where he named Madonna in his split with label Warner Bros.,
“She was getting paid, but at the time, we were selling more records and selling out concerts on multiple nights. It wasn’t about her. This was about business.“
But before his sudden death in April, the pair had been on good terms once again. During the Minnesota stop of her Rebel Heart tour, she stopped by Paisley Park for a late-night jam session the rocker, put on with his backing band 3rdeyegirl.
I thought the tribute was perfect but of course it’s Madonna, so EVERYONE has their opinion on her outfit, song choice, whether she was the “right” person for the job, was it too downbeat, etc. To me, having a peer and friend of 30 years do a heartfelt tribute to such a brilliant artist was perfect. She struck the right tone, paid respect, but was still Madonna in the process. And, I’m sorry, but it’s MADONNA. Of the three pop superstar music icons that represent the 80s (including Michael Jackson) she’s the last one standing, sadly. But feel free to gripe, Belieb me, I’ll the first one bitching in 30+ years if/when they get Justin Bieber to do Madge’s tribute.
(via Rolling Stone)