The performance primarily featured Madonna, who chose to sing the Prince-penned song "Nothing Compares 2 U," a track most often associated with Sinéad O'Connor. It eventually gave way to a sing-along rendition of "Purple Rain," aided by Stevie Wonder. However, the understated nature of the performance, along with the strange choice of allowing Madonna to fully take the reigns on it, didn't sit well with many Prince fans. A number of them expressed their displeasure with the tribute on Twitter:
BET even chimed in at one point and let everyone know that they plan on making up for Madonna's tribute at the BET Awards on June 26:
The performance faced so much criticism that Questlove, who introduced it with a heartfelt speech, felt the need to defend it:
Madonna took to Instagram to address the heavy criticism of her performance head on. "Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to. Whatever your age Gender or skin Color. If you loved him and he inspired you then show it!!!! I love Prince 4 ever 💜☔️👑🙏," she captioned the post.
A photo posted by Madonna (@madonna) on May 23, 2016 at 7:22am PDT
Clearly, emotions are still running high following Prince's tragic death in April, and many people are still trying to figure out the best way to honor his legacy. You can relive Madonna and Stevie's performance, as well as the rest of the show's highlights, here.