BET threw shade when the American Music Awards decided to let Madonna pay tribute to Prince last month. "Yeah, we saw that. Don't worry. We got you," the brand tweeted. Naturally, during Sunday's (June 26) 2016 BET Awards, all eyes were on them to see exactly whether they had us or not.
The show actually did do something different with its much-anticipated tribute, interspersing multiple performances throughout the night instead of doing one big moment. So, with help from our tough critics of REVOLT staff and black Twitter reactions, we ranked the best performances. Some of our favorite stars were grouped together, but for the sake of this activity, we broke them up when merited. Let's get to it!
7. Erykah Badu, "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker"
Introduced by Dave Chapelle, the first tribute of the night was by Erykah Badu and Bilal, backed by The Legendary Roots crew. Baduola sang "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker." Twitter was lukewarm on her.
Erykah Badu was so awful that Prince entered Bilal's spirit and cleaned up the performance.— brother nova (@NovaSankofa) June 27, 2016
6. Tori Kelly and Stevie Wonder, "Take Me With U"
Not sure why BET keeps inviting Tori to the cookout. This performance was not memorable at all.
5. Maxwell, "Nothing Compares 2 U"
So, Maxwell started his set by singing his new song, "Lake by the Ocean," from his upcoming album, BlackSUMMERS'night. When he got into "Nothing Compares 2 U," he did a great job, and even got jazzy with it, including lyrics about Apple, Spotify and Tidal. But he gets demerits for mixing self-promotion with his tribute. I don't think the Purple One would approve.
4. Bilal, "The Beautiful Ones."
Bilal gave this his absolute all. He hit the floor, writhing, kicking up his legs and hitting every note.
3. Janelle Monae, "Delirious," "Kiss," "Pop Life," "I Would Die 4 U"
Her outfit was the most on-point part, from the white ruffled shirt to the heeled booties to the (almost) assless chaps. She kiiiinda gets easy points for doing the standards.
2. Jennifer Hudson, "Purple Rain"
Outfitted in a white double-breasted suit dress with a hood and flawless red lip, J. Hud was the first to bring the crowd to its feet. As the people say, she took us to church!
"She shook the whole house. And it was 'Purple Rain.'" —Devon Smith, REVOLT social media editor
"She gave it new life. After the show, to me, no one matched what she gave in her performance. I got so many feels." —Ralph Bristout, REVOLT senior writer
1. Sheila E., "Housequake," "Erotic City," "U Got the Look," "The Glamorous Life," "America," "Baby I'm A Star"
The percussionist and Prince protege was the best one for the job, period. She gave us drums, guitar, dance moves, and the passion of someone who was close to our beloved Prince Rogers Nelson. We felt the love.