Just a month after Prince's unexpected passing, Sunday night's Billboard Music Awards closed with a controversial tribute to the musician, starring Madonna and featuring a surprise duet with Stevie Wonder.
Ten days before the awards show, when Madonna's tribute to Prince was announced, there was an outcry on social media protesting the show producers' choice.
The change.org petition against Madonna as the only performer paying tribute to Prince generated more than 8,000 online signatures and sparked a counter-protest from Madonna fans.
Despite the outcry against Madonna, the producers were not publicly backing down. However, the unannounced addition of Stevie Wonder could be seen as a victory by those who demanded more performers be added to the tribute.
Immediately after the show ended, social media exploded with criticism of the performance.
Image source: Twitter
Black Entertainment Television subtly slammed the performance, using it to plug the network's upcoming awards show featuring a tribute to Prince.
Comedian Chris Paul called the performance "soulless."
Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier weighed in as well.
As did much of the Twitterverse:
In other words Madonna picked the one Prince song that is more than beyond her vocal range to honor him; and then blew it spectacularly?— Rach (@rach0726) May 23, 2016
Not everyone was unhappy with the tribute. Comic Margaret Cho was moved to tears by the performance.
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