BET wins the “Shade of the Year Award” so far.
The network took full advantage of the outcry against Madonna paying tribute to the late singer Sunday night during the Billboard Music Awards to do some marketing of its own. It tweeted a video featuring a photo of Prince and his symbol advertising the upcoming BET Awards on June 26 with the words “Yeah we saw that. Don’t worry. We got you.”
Madonna’s performance was targeted for criticism even before it happened.
A Change.org petition gathered almost 9,000 signatures speaking out against the planned tribute.
“We cannot let Madonna be the main and only artist tributing Prince during the 2016 Billboard Awards,” the petition stated. “He is more than worthy of a better choice as a main performer.”
The outcry moved Mark Bracco, executive producer of the Billboard Music Awards, to respond.
“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,” Bracco said in an interview.
Madonna’s performance of Prince’s hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” gave the naysayers further fodder. She was joined onstage by Stevie Wonder for the song and one person tweeted Monday that “Madonna sucked so bad last night.”
Drummer and producer Questlove introduced Sunday night’s tribute and took to Twitter to defend it.
“Every Prince rendition will not be a life changing orgasmic xperience,” he tweeted. “Just to SING his work is brave enough. Again feelings are on high.”
“And EVERYBODY wants and deserves a chance to say goodbye in their own way,” he added. “But remember: there will be AMAs, SoulTrain, NAACP, mtv, GRAMMYS. And a gazillion other tributes. But the point is let’s not get ugly w playing the “Prince would and wouldn’t approve” game.”
On Monday afternoon Madonna posted an Instagram photo of herself with the caption “Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to. Whatever your age Gender or skin Color. If you loved him and he inspired you then show it!!!! I love Prince 4 ever.”