Elizabeth Entenman
May 23, 2016 11:57 am
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

When Madonna and Stevie Wonder paid tribute to Prince at Billboard Music Awards last night,  it was one of the most emotional moments of the show. The duo sang some of the late recording artist’s greatest hits, including “Purple Rain.” It was moving for sure . . . but not everyone was into it.

After the performance, the BET Awards posted a tweet poking fun at the tribute and throwing a ton of shade. The tweet said “Yeah, we saw that. Don’t worry. We got you.”

Questlove, who introduced Madonna and Stevie Wonder’s performance, quickly came to their defense on Twitter. In a series of posts, he pointed out that there are going to be ~many~ Prince tributes in the coming year, the Billboard Music Awards was just the start, and people need to accept all of them come from a heartfelt place.

“In the upcoming award season for ’17 there will be a gang of tributes,” he wrote. “Naturally there will be folded arms & shade thrown because the Purple Standard is hard boots to fill & a lot of us don’t wanna come [to] grips [with] the fact that Prince—(an on the surface) face of health & invincible agelessness—[succumbed] to something so… friggin basic.”

Q didn’t call out the BET Awards by name, but rather took the opportunity to gently remind us that Madonna and Steve Wonder’s tribute was just that—a tribute.

“I know there is gonna be A LOT of ‘feel a certain ways’ about who you want to see do his music justice—but you gotta put that aside y’all,” he continued. “Every Prince rendition will not be a life changing orgasmic [experience]. Just to SING his work is brave enough. Again feeling are on high, and EVERYBODY wants and deserves a chance to say goodbye in their own way.”

There you have it. Madonna and Stevie Wonder were close collaborators and friends of Prince, and this was their way of saying goodbye. It wasn’t the first tribute, and it certainly won’t be the last. We appreciate that Questlove has gone out on a limb to encourage everyone to be respectful of each other’s tributes because really, at the end of the day, we’re all mourning the same loss.

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