Questlove Defends Madonna’s Prince Tribute

By Hayden Wright

Madonna’s heartfelt Prince tribute closed the Billboard Music Awards, but opened a door for critics and naysayers to critique her performance. Some felt the staging and arrangement of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Purple Rain” were too campy while others took issue with a white singer paying homage to the legendary black musician.

Questlove, who introduced Madonna last night, tweeted some thoughts about the backlash, suggesting that the Queen of Pop’s critics are simply processing complex grief.

Related: Madonna Performs ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ in Billboard Awards Tribute to Prince

“Because of [Prince’s] well known love for the *poof* vanishing act. A lot of us are left feeling incomplete in the act of saying goodbye,” Questlove wrote. “For starters it’s hard to accept him no longer being here. [And] in the upcoming award season for ‘17 there will be a gang of tributes. Naturally there will be folded arms and shade thrown because the Purple Standard is hard boots to fill & a lot of us don’t wanna come [to] grips [with] the fact that Prince – (an on the surface) face of health and invincible agelessness – [succumbed] to something so… friggin’ basic.”

Questlove used his platform to unify fans behind a common goal—paying tribute to late artists in a variety of ways.

“So I know there is gonna be A lot of ‘feel a certain ways’ about who you want to see do his music justice – but you gotta put that aside y’all,” he wrote. “Every Prince rendition will not be a life changing orgasmic [experience]. Just to sing his work is brave enough. Again feeling are on high, and everybody wants and deserves a chance to say goodbye in their own way. But remember: there will be AMAs, SoulTrain, NAACP, MTV, Grammys and a gazillion other tributes. But the point is let’s not get ugly with playing the ‘Prince would and wouldn’t approve’ game.”

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