Madonna performs a tribute to Prince onstage during the 2016 Billboard Music Awards on May 22, 2016.
Kevin Winter—Getty Images
By Cady Lang
May 23, 2016

When it was announced that Madonna would be performing a tribute to Prince at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, there was no shortage of controversy about whether or not the singer was a fitting choice to honor the late Purple One. While Madge was a colleague and friend of the legendary artist, some wondered if she had the musical chops to pay homage to Prince.

So it comes as no surprise that her performance of “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Purple Rain” on Sunday night (which included an introduction by Questlove and a surprise appearance with Stevie Wonder) drew mixed reactions from some pretty high-profile viewers on social media.

BET wasted no time in throwing some well-placed shade at the Billboard performance — and also resourcefully used it as a plug for its own upcoming tribute.

And Miami Heat player Dwayne Wade (who Prince once said was his favorite basketball player) took to Twitter to let his followers know he was underwhelmed.

However, presenter Questlove defended Billboard’s choice of Madonna and reminded viewers that the tribute was about honoring the memory of the Purple One.

See a clip of Madonna and Stevie Wonder’s Billboard tribute to Prince below.

Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com.

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