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The Daily Dish

The 2016 BET Awards Prince Tributes Would Have Made the Purple One Proud

Jennifer Hudson, The Roots, Sheila E., and more honored the late singer.

By Laura Rosenfeld

An artist as legendary as Prince deserves an equally legendary tribute, and that's exactly what the late singer, who passed away unexpectedly on April 21, got during the 2016 BET Awards on Sunday night. After BET promised an even more epic Prince tribute in a tweet posted during Madonna's homage to the icon at this year's Billboard Music Awards in May, which has since been deleted, the network delivered. Some of today's biggest artists remembered the Purple One by putting their own spin on his discography, from his biggest hits to deep cuts, throughout the awards ceremony.

First up, Erykah Badu crooned "The Ballad of Dorothy Parker," and the audience couldn't help but sing along, including Empire's Taraji P. Henson. Bilal then took the stage for a sweet, falsetto-filled cover of "The Beautiful Ones." Both had the electrifying backing of The Roots.

Stevie Wonder and Tori Kelly kept the tribute and the purple-accented ensembles going with an upbeat performance of "Take Me With U." Jennifer Hudson then brought the house down with a soulful rendition of "Purple Rain." You were guaranteed to get chills by the end of it.

Stevie Wonder and Tori Kelly brought the fun with an energetic performance of Prince's "Take Me With U" at the 2016 BET Awards on June 26, 2016.

After singing his new single "Lake by the Ocean," Maxwell thankfully lent his voice to the night's string of Prince tributes as well with a gospel-tinged cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U." 

Janelle Monae went all out for her Prince tribute, getting funky with her take on "Delirious," "Kiss," "Pop Life," and "I Would Die 4 U." 

Longtime Prince collaborator Sheila E. closed out the show with her iconic percussion skills and a ton of energy. Her medley of Prince songs included "Housequake," "Erotic City," "U Got the Look," "A Love Bizarre," and "The Glamorous Life."

Sheila E. paid tribute to her famous mentor Prince with a touching medley celebrating his life and legacy at the 2016 BET Awards on June 26, 2016.

Sheila E. ended the Prince tributes and the night with a striking image of herself holding up a purple guitar as flower petals fell from the ceiling. It was a lovely ending to a beautiful and emotional night of music. 

As you can see, Prince had a profound impact on many artists over the decades. Learn how he influenced Mariah Carey's career, below.

After Show: Mariah on Prince’s Influence
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