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The stadium turned purple before Madonna appeared onstage at Sunday’s Billboard Music Awards, sitting in a purple throne and leaning on a purple cane as she sang the lyrics of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
The pop icon paid tribute to the late Prince as she sang the song — which was written and composed by Prince and later made famous by Sinead O’Connor — while powerful images flashed on the wall behind her, including many of the late singer during memorable performances.
Towards the end of the moving rendition, Stevie Wonder joined Madonna onstage wearing a purple scarf. After rapturous applause, the pair led the audience in an a capella version of “Purple Rain.” Stars such as Rihanna and The Weeknd were spotted singing along, while others like Rebecca Romijn were seen in tears.
“Prince, you know we love you, forever,” said Wonder mid-song.
Wonder and Madonna, who wore a purple suit, encouraged the audience to clap along as they belted out the remaining lyrics.
“Thank you, Prince Rogers Nelson, for all that you have given us,” said Madonna while closing out the show.
Madonna and Prince collaborated for “Love Song,” which was part of her 1989 album, Like a Prayer.
The kudocast was hosted by Ciara and Ludacris, and included performances from Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Celine Dion. The 2016 Billboard Music Awards aired live on Sunday on ABC from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. For a list of the winners, click here.
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