Watch Erykah Badu, Janelle Monae + More Honor Prince at the 2016 BET Awards
The 2016 BET Awards honored the late, great Prince this evening (Sunday June 26) with an assortment of exceptional tribute performances throughout the show, from Erykah Badu to Stevie Wonder to Janelle Monae and beyond. After an introduction by comedian Dave Chappelle, the celebratory homage kicked off with an emotional, neo-folksy performance of "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker," sung by Badu who was backed by The Roots. Then, soul artist Bilal came out and sang "The Beautiful Ones," rolling on the floor and at times sounding almost eerily identical to Prince.
Later, Tori Kelly and Stevie Wonder teamed up for a joyful, uplifting duet of "Take Me With U," followed by the inimitable Jennifer Hudson, who stunned with a powerful rendition of the musician's triumphant "Purple Rain." She received an incredible standing ovation from a clearly and deeply moved crowd.
Iconic R&B crooner Maxwell was up next, providing a slow-burning cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U," amending the lyrics slightly and singing directly to the beloved star who wrote it.
Janelle Monae also performed, this time entertaining with an electrifying medley of Prince's most funky tunes — "Delirious," "Kiss," "Pop Life," and "I Would Die 4 U" — as she zipped around the stage while changing into various outfits inspired by The Purple One, including a pair of lacy bottom-baring pants, a nod to the musician's legendary 1991 MTV VMAs ensemble.
Finally, Sheila E. — legendary singer-musician and also Prince's protege — brought down the house with a kinetic finale medley of the pop star's most energetic tracks, rattling through classics and fan favorites like "Erotic City," "U Got the Look," "A Love Bizarre," "The Glamorous Life," "America" and "Baby I'm a Star."
Prince passed away on April 21, 2016, but thanks in part to the BET Awards' worthy tribute, it's clear his legacy wont be forgotten any time soon.
The 2016 BET Awards Red Carpet: See the Looks