Celine talks about Madonna’s Prince tribute performance:
Madonna’s Instagram: M @ Beauty & Essex
Madonna wears Gucci at the BBMAs
It’s safe to say that B. Akerlund is having a very big year. After putting Beyoncé into that mustard-color Roberto Cavalli confection for Lemonade, the stylist was enlisted by Madonna to dress the icon for her tribute to Prince at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. And judging by the Instagrams issued by the Queen of Pop leading up to Sunday night’s event—from lace layered under dangling crucifixes, to paparazzi shots of the pair in matching shades of yellow from the late ’80s, to stage pictures of Prince clad in thigh-high socks, bikini briefs, lace arm-warmers, and a fringed, beaded top—this was not an affair in which the costume considerations would be taken lightly.
When dealing with figures that loom as large in the collective cultural psyche as Madonna and Prince—both with their own distinct sartorial codas (and bestowed with such particularly unique lore)—the fashion has a lot to live up to. And thanks to Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, it did. Madonna took to the stage for her emotional, intimate tribute, singing “Nothing Compares 2 U” before being joined by Stevie Wonder for a duet of “Purple Rain,” in an embroidered metallic brocade three-piece suit with swirling purple paisley print and underlying frilled blouse—a look that, thanks to the film adaptation, is as synonymous with Prince as the symbol he once took on as a name. (And it’s worth noting that suiting made a few appearances earlier in the evening, in Kesha’s purple and embroidered white Gram Parsons–inspired versions, both vintage Nudie, and the ladylike Chanel take worn by Demi Lovato.) Michele, who has worked with the Material Girl before, most notably on Latin-influenced costumes for her Rebel Heart tour, perhaps put it best in the note sent to Vogue.com accompanying his sketch: “It’s more than a performance, it’s a real act of love.”
Madonna’s Instagram: BBMAs
Video: Madonna performing Nothing Compares 2 U and Purple Rain with Stevie Wonder at BBMAs
Photos: Madonna backstage at the Billboard Music Awards
Photos: Madonna at Billboard Music Awards
Madonna asked Questlove to write Prince Tribute for BBMAs
Madonna is set to perform in honor of Prince at the Billboard Music Awards tonight (May 22), and she has a little extra in store.
Billboard has learned that the Material Girl asked Questlove to share a few words about Prince.
And The Roots drummer has prepared a tribute to the late icon that will lead into Madonna’s performance at the ceremony.
Video: Madonna in Billboard Awards Promo
Billboard Producer Defends Choosing Madonna to Honor Prince
The executive producer of Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards is defending the decision to have Madonna pay homage to Prince, which has been met with some criticism online and sparked a Change.org petition.
“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,” Mark Bracco said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. “I think it’s going to be fantastic.”
Madonna and Prince collaborated on “Love Song” from Madonna’s 1989 album, “Like a Prayer.” Bracco didn’t say what song Madonna would perform, but said her tribute would be “really beautiful.”
“It’s going to be very, very intimate and very respectful, and I think it’s something that is really going to pay tribute to Prince as the incredible, groundbreaking artist that he was and the influence that he had on music,” he said.
After the initial announcement earlier this month, a Change.org petition was launched. Some argued that Madonna should not be the sole artist honoring Prince and that other musicians who were closely aligned to him should be involved as well. Others complained that a black artist should be involved in a tribute to The Purple One.
Bracco said that after Prince died on April 21, the show’s producers brainstormed ways to honor his legacy. And then Madonna’s folks called.
“Honestly her team gave a call and inquired about what we might be thinking about and it led to many conversations about what would she want to do and how would we want to shape it creatively,” he said. “And after everyone (got) comfortable with exactly what the direction was, we all collectively wanted to go into Madonna, that she would do this and she has been very, very involved in how this will all unfold creatively.”
Petition Demands Madonna Share Prince Tribute at 2016 Billboard Awards
A Change.org petition has surfaced arguing against Madonna being the only artist to pay tribute to Prince at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards (airing on May 22).
“We cannot let Madonna be the main and only artist tributing Prince during the 2016 Billboard Awards,” it reads. “He is more than worthy of a better choice as a main performer. Please sign and share this petition so that we can get a proper tribute on May 22, 2016. Timing is tight! Spread the word.”
Meanwhile, Idolator reminds us that Prince did appear twice on Madonna’s 1989 album, Like a Prayer, and he played rhythm guitar on the title track and recorded the duet “Love Song.”
One petition comment suggests “Lenny Kravitz, Mint Condition, Sheila E, Chaka Khan” to be the tribute’s main performer instead. There are 1,961 signatures so far.
Madonna Will Pay Tribute to Prince at Billboard Music Awards
The Queen of Pop will pay homage to another member of music royalty, Prince, at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards.
Organizers on Wednesday announced Madonna’s participation in what promises to be one of the highlights of this year’s BBMAs. The legendary pop singer will pay tribute to her good friend and fellow artist, who unexpectedly passed away April 21 at age 57. Details on her tribute to the late music great remain a closely guarded secret.
This year’s ceremony will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Sunday, May 22, from TMobile Arena in Las Vegas. It’ll be hosted by BBMA vet Ludacris and first-time host Ciara and produced by dick clark productions.