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.”
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.
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.
A Lola and Mert Moment
Madonna via Instagram
After months of feuding, Madonna and her teenage son Rocco will get back Into The Groove with a healing summer holiday.
The Queen of Pop is whisking her 15-year-old away with his three siblings to “rebuild their family unit and start again”.
The plan comes after the painful fallout caused by Rocco’s refusal to go home to New York to his mother in January, choosing to stay with his father Guy Ritchie in London.
They hope their time together – “a compromise” following a bitter custody row – will get their relationship back to normal.
A family pal said: “This is a big summer for them – the chance they’ve been looking for to get things back on track.
“It’s part of the compromise they’ve reached – and a chance for Rocco to see his brother and sisters, as they all miss each other a lot.
“If this works well, it could become part of long-term arrangements to see plenty of each other.”
The family intends to divide time between holidaying and Madge’s New York pad, as part of a bid to split custody between the singer and film director Guy.
Madonna was at a pre-Mother’s Day dinner at Dirty French on Saturday.
The singer dined with daughter Lourdes, designer Marc Jacobs and pals, but son Rocco — the subject of her bitter custody battle with ex Guy Ritchie — wasn’t on the scene.
Madge “didn’t have security… She was just hanging like a normal person,” said a spy. But when a fan approached, “He asked for a picture… She said, ‘No, not now.’ He then asked her for a hug.”
But Madonna shot back, “How about a handshake instead?”