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Madonna, Stevie Wonder Pay Tribute to Prince at Billboard Music Awards

Madonna paid tribute to Prince in only a way Madonna could — with big flare and even bigger emotion — at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night.

The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was bathed in purple light as Madonna appeared in a throne, wearing a very Prince-esque suit. Images of the late musician, purple doves and more flashed behind Madonna as she gave a slow performance of “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

Stevie Wonder joined her for the next song, “Purple Rain,” with the two singers holding hands as they swayed.

Madonna ended the performance by thanking the audience and, of course, Prince himself.

When it was initially announced that Madonna would be performing the tribute for Prince, it was met with controversy online, with many protesting that a black artist should have honored Prince instead. The show’s executive producer, previously issued a statement defending the choice.

“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.”

Prince died last month at the age of 57. He and fellow pop icon Madonna had collaborated on their 1989 track “Love Song.”

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