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Madonna, Wonder pay homage to Prince

Associated Press Associated Press 23/05/2016 Mesfin Fekadu

Madonna has paid homage to Prince by wearing his signature colour and bringing another icon - Stevie Wonder - onstage to sing the classic Purple Rain at Sunday's Billboard Music Awards.

Sitting atop a purple throne, Madonna kicked off the tribute with a version of Nothing Compares 2 U, which Prince wrote and Sinead O'Connor recorded. She as teary-eyed as she sang the song, videos and photos of Prince projected behind her.

Wonder, in a purple scarf, later joined her for Purple Rain as the audience at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas sang along.

"Most of all, thank you Prince Rogers Nelson for all that you've given us," Madonna said after the performance.

Prince died on April 21 at age 57. The icons collaborated on Love Song in 1989 and Madonna was met with criticism online when Billboard announced she would be the one to pay homage to The Purple One. Some felt she should not do the tribute alone, and others said a black artist should be involved.

"All of us live in the land of music and his departure was an earthquake," Roots drummer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson said before the performance.

"I just want to take a moment to remember the great Prince Rogers Nelson."

The Weeknd, the night's big winner with eight, dedicated an award to Prince and told the audience, "I love him so much. I didn't know him, but he was so close to me. He will always be an inspiration."

However, The Weeknd lost the night's big award - top artist - to Adele, who didn't attend the show because she's on tour.

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