Since Prince‘s untimely death, a veritable who’s who of music have paid tribute to the fallen legend, and now Madonna has joined the growing list.
The 2016 Billboard Music Awards saw performances from a host of musicians, but the most anticipated moment of the night was seeing Madonna take to the stage with surprise guest Stevie Wonder to honour The Purple One.
The Queen of Pop was introduced to the audience by Questlove, whose emotional words resonated strongly with anyone who has heard or knows Prince’s music. “We can be fierce, we can be uncompromising, we can be experimental,” he said. “We can listen to all the songs he left us. He was very generous in that regard.”
He called Prince’s departure from the world of music “an earthquake”, and then asked for the audience to bow their heads for a minute’s silence. “I want to take a moment to remember the great Prince Rogers Nelson. It can be a moment of silence here in the air but in our heads it should be anything but silent.”
Then, the stage took on a purple hue, as Madonna performed Sinead O’Connor’s Prince-penned hit Nothing Compares To U. Following that – she was joined on stage by Stevie Wonder and the two joined forces to sing Prince’s iconic classic Purple Rain.
“Most of all, thank you Prince Rogers Nelson for all that you have given us,” said Madonna at the conclusion of the performance.
As goes all thing, not everyone was as stoked as the audience appeared to be, with reactions on Twitter mixed at best.
Catch the full tribute, and some reactions to it, below.
Watch: Madonna & Stevie Wonder – Purple Rain (Prince Cover)
— deray mckesson (@deray) May 23, 2016
Tonight's performance was, as we'd feared, a really weak tribute to Prince. But it's okay, he knew he was the best & this only confirmed it.
— Spooky Anil Dash 🎃 (@anildash) May 23, 2016
— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) May 23, 2016
— RCA Records (@RCARecords) May 23, 2016
somebody gotta hit madonna with the crying michael jordan face
— Brokey S. Pumpkins (@brokeymcpoverty) May 23, 2016
— Travon Free (@Travon) May 23, 2016
Madonna's Prince tribute? The styling is on point
— J. Escobedo Shepherd (@jawnita) May 23, 2016