BET AWARDS 2016, people paid tribute to Prince - one of the greatest African-American musicians of all times.
First up was Badu – wearing a black beret, a white fake fur stole, leather pants and what seemed to be a giant purple paper arm corsage – doing a flawless version of “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” from 1987’s classic Sign O’ the Times LP.
Bilal – who goes so far back with the Roots and Prince tributes that he performed with them at one at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1999 – was next with Purple Rain’s “The Beautiful Ones,” which he nailed in a near-flawless falsetto.
Jennifer Hudson was singing “Purple Rain” and
Roots guitarist Kirk Douglas – yes, the guy whose guitar Prince borrowed and broke on Jimmy Fallon in 2013 – joined her at the front of the stage and shredded the solo as Hudson led the crowd through a singalong.
Maxwell, after performing “Lake by the Ocean,” the single from his forthcoming album BlackSUMMERS'Night, segued suddenly into Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2U,” updating the lyrics to address Prince: “It’s been 7 hours and 66 days since you took your music away,” “I went to the record store, Apple, Spotify too, and they told me ‘Boy you’d better try to make some music, which you can’t do –'cause Prince is the truth!”
Next up was Janelle Monae, whose classic style lent itself well to a medley that started with “Delirious,” from 1999, before segueing into “Kiss.” Keeping the funky vibe alive, a quick tour through “Pop Life” bled into an up-tempo “I Would Die 4 U” with a dance sequence that recalled Prince’s famous rendition from the film Purple Rain. “I love you Prince,” she said at the song’s conclusion, falling to her knees before strutting purposefully off stage.
RIP Prince, you were always here for Black people, for Black pride and for Black culture.