Executive producer of the US Billboard Music Awards Mark Bracco has defended the choice of Madonna to pay tribute to Prince at this weekend’s awards show after a petition was launched this week protesting Madge’s selection. Yeah that’s right, there is literally a petition for everything now.
With over 8000 signatures so far, and a target of 10,000, the Change.org petition states that “we cannot let Madonna be the main and only artist tributing Prince during the 2016 Billboard Awards,” adding that “he is more than worthy of a better choice as a main performer.”
Bracco wasn’t about to let a chorus on internet haters change his mind though. Sayingin an interview with The Associated Press (via Billboard) the tribute would be “respectful”, making it clear that he was confident in the decision.
“Listen, I think everybody is entitled to their opinion and everyone can have their own opinion, but I will say that we are honored and could not be more excited for Madonna to be on the show and to pay tribute to someone that was her friend and her peer and her colleague,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be fantastic.”
With scant details on what the tribute would entail at this stage, Bracco nevertheless dropped some hints, suggesting the Material Girl would be offering something a little more lowkey than we might expect.
“It’s going to be very, very intimate and very respectful, and I think it’s something that is really going to pay tribute to Prince as the incredible, groundbreaking artist that he was and the influence that he had on music,” he said.
While the two artists certainly has a turbulent relationship – they dated briefly in 1985 and Prince worked on a number of tracks on her classic 1989 album Like A Prayer followed by years of animosity – they had reportedly reconciled over the past few years. So Madonna has more of a Prince pedigree than you might imagine.
Still it would have been nice to see a little diversity in the tribute, rather than a lone white woman, but the proof will be in the pudding when she takes the stage this weekend.
The Billboard Music Awards take place this Sunday 22nd May in Las Vegas.
Listen: Madonna ft. Prince – Love Song
Watch: MADONNA talks about PRINCE in 1989