The EMAs' Purple Statues Honor Prince

Legendary musician Prince (aka Prince Rogers Nelson) may have passed away in April of 2016, but the tributes for him and the everlasting effect he had on music aren’t over — the 2016 MTV EMAs paid homage to Prince in a meaningful way, painting all of their award statues purple (Prince’s signature hue) before they were handed out to the winners.

According to host Bebe Rexha (who was dressed in a royal shade for the occasion), Prince first appeared on the MTV EMAs in 1994 — the show’s inaugural year — and planned and performed many memorable appearances from then until his death. Between the explanation of why the EMAs decided to make the awards purple and a few words about Prince, the moment was fairly short, but I thought that it was particularly important. Everyone who wins an EMA this year will probably think of Prince a bit when they look at their award for 2016 and remember what a musical legend we lost in 2016. It seems like every award show in 2016 has paid some sort of tribute to Prince — the BET Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, etc. — but it’s a little trickier for the EMAs. All of the other award shows took place very soon after Prince’s death, so it was fresh in people’s minds and viewers probably felt that it warranted interrupting the show for a Prince medley. Because Prince died seven months ago, this was a simple and perfect way to show that the music industry is still thinking about losing him.

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The only award show that hasn’t had a chance to perform a Prince tribute is the Grammy Awards, which are usually conducted in late January or early February. Will they do a big performance collaboration like the other award shows did? Or just a few simple words and a poignant symbol like the MTV EMAs? We’ll have to wait until 2017 to find out.