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Questlove Defends Madonna’s BBMAs Prince Tribute

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Madonna‘s Billboard Music Awards tribute to Prince was met with lukewarm reception — most notably from TV network BET, who tweeted some serious shade moments after the performance ended. But musician Questlove — who introduced the tribute with a heartfelt speech about his longtime idol Prince — came to Madonna’s defense on Twitter, saying anyone who wants to honor the late icon should be free to do so, however they please.

“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,” he began. “Naturally there will be folded arms & 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 & invincible agelessness [succumbed] to something so….friggin basic.”

Questlove continued, noting that it’s unfair to delegate which artists should be allowed to honor Prince.

“Now anger is in the air w who (in our eyes) is allowed to mourn & how they are allowed to mourn,” he wrote. “None of us were prepared for his death. So I know there is gonna be ALOT of ‘feel a certain ways’ about who you want to see do his music justice—but you gotta put that aside y’all.

“Every Prince rendition will not be a life changing orgasmic experience. Just to SING his work is brave enough,” he continued.

Questlove also noted that he wasn’t referring solely to Madonna’s tribute with Stevie Wonder — he means for his words to include all future tributes to Prince, which will likely span well into 2017.

“Again feeling[s] are on high…and EVERYBODY wants and deserves a chance to say goodbye in their own way,” he continued. “But remember: there will be AMAs, SoulTrain, NAACP, mtv, GRAMMYS and a gazillion other tributes. But the point is let’s not get ugly w playing the ‘Prince would and wouldn’t approve’ game.”

Madonna also responded to the criticism, posting a photo of herself in her BBMAs tribute outfit along with the caption, “Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to. Whatever your age Gender or skin Color. If you loved him and he inspired you then show it!!!! I love Prince 4 ever.”

See Photos From The 2016 Billboard Music Awards Red Carpet

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