Dave Chappelle Introduces The BET Awards' First Prince Tribute & It Was So Fitting
Prince’s death on April 21, 2016 sent shockwaves through the music industry — he was a man that was so talented, so revered, and so respected that it was almost surreal for him to not be around to create with anymore. Generations of music lovers adored Prince, and, as with any death, tributes began to roll in in the months after his passing — the Billboard Music Awards paid homage to Prince Rogers Nelson with Stevie Wonder and Madonna singing the artist’s best songs, but I gotta say: The 2016 BET Awards Prince tribute totally blew it out of the water. It was even introduced perfectly, with Dave Chappelle honoring Prince's memory just before the performances began.
According to E! Online, there are going to be many artists showing up for Prince. Stevie Wonder would of course return (because who is going to turn away Stevie Wonder?), as would Prince’s longtime collaborator Sheila E. Also rumored to be on deck were Janelle Monae, the Roots, and D’Angelo — a pretty great lineup, right? I’m always afraid of hyping up a performance like this. There are so many great artists, but sometimes, things just don’t vibe (case in point: the Prince tribute at the BBMAs). Well, I’m glad to say that here, I was completely wrong — the Prince tribute was totally awesome.
Or should I say Prince tributes? There were multiple numbers in honor of Prince throughout the night — in the first, Dave Chappelle came out to talk about Prince and how much he meant to him. If you remember back to the mid 2000s, The Chapelle Show did a sketch on Prince and how he loved breakfast and basketball — and, according to Entertainment Weekly, Prince loved it, using a photo of Chapelle's impression of him for an album. Prince certainly had a sense of humor, and Chapelle loved that. Then, Chapelle brought out Erykah Badu and the Roots to jam on a groovy cover of "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker." After that tune was over, Bilal switched places with Badu for a very sultry cover of "The Beautiful Ones." These were two very classic Prince tracks, and I'm so glad that they were honored. In fact, I'm glad that viewers at home will get to hear more than one Prince song!
The man was a legend, and he deserves to be honored multiple times over.