Billboard Awards: Madonna leads Prince tributes


Madonna was joined by Stevie Wonder for a rendition of Purple Rain.

MADONNA led the tributes to the late Prince at the Billboard music awards, on an emotional night in Las Vegas.

Echoing his unique style, she wore a lavender paisley suit with a ruffled blouse as she sang Nothing Compares 2 U.

She was then joined on stage by Stevie Wonder for a rendition of Purple Rain.

Madonna worked several times with Prince – who died last month – collaborating on Love Song at his Paisley Park recording studio in 1989.

The Weeknd was the big winner of the night, being given eight honours including Top Hot 100 Artist and Top R&B Artist.

He dedicated his Top 100 Artist award to Prince, saying: “I love him so much. I didn’t know him but he was very close to me. He’ll always be an inspiration.”
Adele picked up the award for Top Artist, while her album 25 beat Swift’s 1989, The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind The Madness, and Justin Bieber’s Purpose for Top Album award.

In a video message, she said: “I can’t believe I won another one. This record was quite a mission to make. I had to overcome … my own emotional battles. Have a drink for me.”
The British singer won three other awards, and used the ceremony to debut her new music video for Send My Love (To Your New Lover).

Celine Dion – whose brother and husband both died in recent months – sang Queen’s The Show Must Go On, before her son René-Charles Angelil came on stage to deliver the Icon Award.

Celine Dion was brought to tears by her son's presence at the event

Celine Dion was brought to tears by her son’s presence at the event

The surprise brought her to tears, and she said: “I’m so sorry. I’m sorry for crying. I want to be so strong for my family and my kids. And I didn’t expect that. I’m so sorry.

She told the audience: “I don’t want to cry in front of you. You make me so happy. Thank you.”

Justin Bieber was named Top Male Artist, while Rihanna picked up the Billboard Chart Achievement award. Ariana Grande also performed.

Kesha received a standing ovation for her rendition of Bob Dylan’s It Ain’t Me Babe after her former producer’s record label had initially refused to approve the performance.

It followed concerns she would refer to her legal dispute with Dr Luke, whom she accused of drugging, sexually abusing and emotionally tormenting her. He denies the allegations.

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