Since BET threw Madonna shade following her tribute to Prince at this year’s Billboard Awards, the world’s anticipation has steadily increased as we patiently wait to see how the television network will pay homage to the legendary Purple Rain star. On what would have been the icon’s 58th birthday, BET announced the names of the first few performers set to take the stage for what is expected to be a stellar tribute.
On June 26 at the Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theatre during the 2016 BET Awards, Prince’s ex fiancee Sheila E. will come together with the likes of Janelle Monae, D’angelo, The Roots, and a few other artists that will later be revealed, for a live performance that will display the love, appreciation, and influence Prince’s music, artistry and personality had on others.
Prince‘s death on April 21 came as a shock to many. After being discovered dead in his Paisley Park mansion, an autopsy recently revealed that his passing was the result of an opioid overdose. Celebrities and Prince fans have since paid their respects in the ways they knew how, but the pressure of the first televised tribute via The Billboard Awards fell on Madonna’s shoulders.
Madonna’s performance of Nothing Compares 2 U and Purple Rain, with assistance of Stevie Wonder and Questlove, was met with mixed reviews. While Questlove came to her defense, others, including BET, found the tribute unsatisfactory, thus a now deleted post in which the network wrote, “Yeah, we saw that. Don’t worry. We got you.”
BET is experienced in planning special performances for both posthumous tributes as well as those honoring our living legends. They previously honored Prince in 2010 with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Expectations are high, but judging from the artists that were just announced, they are definitely on their way to meeting them.
Written By: Sweenie Saint-Vil