The Weeknd’s tribute to Prince
The Weeknd paid tribute to his “inspiration” Prince as he picked up the Top Hot 100 Artist gong at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday evening (05.22.16).
The ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ hitmaker – who secured eight awards in total at the ceremony – remembered the late singer, who tragically passed away last month at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota.
He said: “I want to dedicate this award to the late, great Prince. Rest in peace. I love him so much. I didn’t know him but he was very close to me. He’ll always be an inspiration.”
Madonna also paid her own tribute to the legendary singer, closing the show with a musical performance dedicated to him. She was joined on the Las Vegas stage by surprise performer Stevie Wonder, who she duetted with for a rendition of ‘Purple Rain’.
The 57-year-old singer, who wore a purple sequinned suit and held a cane with cross symbols, also sang another song penned by Prince, ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’.
Speaking after her performance, she said simply: “Thank you Prince Rogers Nelson for all you have given us.”
And Roots drummer Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson also had his own tribute for the late star as he introduced Madonna’s performance.
He said: “On April 21, we lost Prince. I say ‘we’ because it affects us all and no matter what kind of music we make, no matter how long we’ve made it, no matter our race, our colour, our creed, our sexual orientation. All of us live in the land of music and his departure from it was an earthquake. But his departure leaves behind so much work to do and we can follow the trails he blazed and his example.
“We can be fierce, uncompromising, experimental, and we can also listen to all the songs he left for us. He was very very generous in that regard. And as we move forward, we will encounter every single day more reasons to remember him. Every time we hear a really great guitar solo, we’re going to remember. For that matter, every time we hear a funky baseline, a synthesiser keyboard, a distinctive drum pattern … Or seeing someone wear a yellow suit with the rear removed. So I just want to take a moment to remember the great Prince Rogers Nelson.”