Update: BET has announced the lineup for their Prince tribute! The BET Awards tribute will feature Sheila E., The Roots, D’Angelo, Janelle Monae and many more.
After Madonna and Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Prince on Sunday’s Billboard awards, many fans and publications were quick to shade the not-so great performance. That same night BET dropped a 30 second video on Twitter reassuring Prince fans that their upcoming BET Awards tribute would do the Purple One justice. The Tweet has since been deleted but read “Yeah, we saw that. Don’t worry. We Got You.”
In an email to The Fader, the President of Programming and Specials, Stephen Hill stated that BET’s tribute would be “a multi-tiered, multi-generational, musician laden, expansive…and funky celebration of Prince’s music in line with our audience’s clear and expressed desires.” Now, that’s a huge deal. Hill’s claims mean that the June 26th tribute would have to not only top Billboard’s but the channel’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement performance. You know, the tribute where a 5 month pregnant Alicia Keys performed “Adore” on top of a piano.
Since Prince’s untimely death, there have been a number of artists paying homage with covers of his music — some good and some bad. Here are 11 very talented artists who we hope will be a part of BET’s Prince tribute:
During the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award performance, Janelle Monae hit the stage and gave an energetic rendition of “Let’s Go Crazy.” It’s only right that the Atlantic Records signee hits the stage once again to pay homage to her late friend. The Electric Lady recently dedicated her Jazz Fest set to Prince.
After his death, D’Angelo performed Prince’s “Sometimes it Snows in April” on The Tonight Show. The “Brown Sugar” singer was not only influenced by Prince’s vocals, but by his ability to play multiple instruments as well. A guitar solo from D’Angelo— like the one below— in Prince’s honor would be a great way to pay homage to Prince’s other talents.
Lenny Kravitz and Prince were long time friends and have played side by side all over the world. A guitar tribute to Prince from Lenny would definitely standout amongst the many other performances.
Known for his falsetto and powerful voice, Avery Wilson is one of the few male singers who could actually pull off covering a Prince song.
Musically, Frank’s been quiet for a long time now. But Frank took to Tumblr to speak on how influential Prince was in his life and music. While it’s hard to get a hold of him for an update on his next album, it should be pretty easy to get Frank to perform seeing as he’s a “Prince fan (stan) for life.”
Known for his way with the guitar, Marcus Machado’s skills would definitely be an asset to a Prince tribute.
Sheila E and Prince were close friends and worked together on many records. Not only would a Sheila E performance stand out at the awards, it would be an instantly classic yet emotional tribute.
As a friend and vocalist in his band, The New Power Generation, a Rosie Gaines performance would definitely fit the “multi-generational” part of the tribute. Her powerful voice doing a cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U” would guarantee not a dry eye would be left in the house.
During an interview with Medium back in 2015, Prince called every song on Jill Scott’s Who is Jill Scott “the truth.” With Jill Scott able to sing in multiple languages and hit high notes flawlessly, she would be the perfect addition to a Prince tribute.
Lianne La Havas:
Prince reached out to British singer Lianne La Havas after hearing her album. Watching Lianne perform “Clouds,” the Art Official Age collab alongside 3RDEYEGIRL, would be a great way to pay homage.
Esperanza Spalding performed “If I Was Your Girlfriend” with a cello in hand during Prince’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement tribute. Her voice, ability to play multiple instruments, and close friendship with Prince would be a great addition to the tribute.
Who do you think should perform at BET’s Prince tribute? Hit us on Twitter @WatchLOUD