The 2016 BET Awards started at a dizzying high thanks to Beyoncé and Kendrick Lama and doesn’t seem to have come down much since then – the opposite in fact. The ceremony has now seen a number of separate performances dedicated to the late Prince with some of the biggest names in hip hop and R&B joining forces to throw some love to The Purple One.
Performing in a purple-washed arena, Erykah Badu tackled the almighty jam The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker with some help from The Roots. Bilal followed soon after and, while also backed by The Roots, fell into an out-of-body experience while performing The Beautiful Ones.
Next, Steve Wonder took to the stage with Tori Amos for a duet over Take Me With U before Jennifer Hudson appeared for the big one – Purple Rain. The internet was quick to point out Hudson appeared to be wearing an identical white hoodie to the one Prince had been known to wear and we doubt that was a coincidence.
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Janelle Monáe provided one of the high points of the entire evening when she busted out a medley of three Prince songs in one. She transitioned oh-so-smoothly between Delirious, Kiss, Pop Life and I Would Die 4 U – donning all-white recreations of Prince’s most famous and most outrageous outfits. She even started the performance in a version of the assless chaps he wore at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards.
As you’ll see in the below videos, these tributes were arguably superior to the one from Madonna earlier in the year at the Billboard Awards. At the time, BET organisers decided to be tactful with their approach, informing The Fader that their tribute will be, well, “A bit larger in scope”.
Watch: Erykah Badu & Bilal Prince Tribute Featuring The Roots
Watch: Stevie Wonder, Tori Kelly, Jennifer Hudson Prince Tribute
Watch: Janelle Monáe Prince Tribute Medley
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