Madonna paid homage to Prince by wearing his signature color and bringing another icon — Stevie Wonder — onstage to sing the classic “Purple Rain” at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards. Sitting atop a purple throne, Madonna kicked off the tribute with a version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which Prince wrote and Sinead O'Connor recorded. She as teary-eyed as she sang the song, videos and photos of Prince projected behind her. Wonder, in a purple scarf, later joined her for “Purple Rain” as the audience at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas sang along. "Most of all, thank you Prince Rogers Nelson for all that you’ve given us,“ Madonna said after the performance.
I love him so much. I didn’t know him, but he was so close to me. He will always be an inspiration.
The Weeknd, the night’s big winner with eight, dedicated an award to Prince
Prince died on April 21 at age 57. The icons collaborated on "Love Song” in 1989 and Madonna was met with criticism online when Billboard announced she would be the one to pay homage to The Purple One. Some felt she should not do the tribute alone, and others said a black artist should be involved. “All of us live in the land of music and his departure was an earthquake,” Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson said. Celine Dion and Kesha, both in the midst of drama in their personal lives, gave emotional performances during the three-hour show.