The people have spoken!
Madonna performed a tribute to the late, great Prince at the Billboard Music awards, but it seems viewers were not pleased with her efforts.
Even an appearance by music legend Stevie Wonder couldn’t save the performance that was branded “embarrassing” by social media users, and widely criticised by other outlets, including the Black Entertainment Television (BET) network.
Among the backlash was her song choice, Nothing Compares 2 U, a song that was written by Prince but sung by Sinead O’Connor.
She backed it up by singing Purple Rain with Stevie Wonder, but the performance left fans wondering whether the pair knew any lyrics other than the chorus.
Before long, memes were flying all over the internet. “This is exactly what it sounds like when doves cry,” one user tweeted.
“I’m going to assume @Prince is in heaven and he is NOT amused with this @Madonna #BillboardMusicAwards tribute. #SHADE,” one follower wrote alongside a short clip of Prince looking less than pleased.
Some kept the criticism simple. “Prince deserved so much more than this!” an disappointed fan tweeted.
But not everyone was hating on the performance. US musician and DJ Questlove, who helped engineer the tribute, jumped online to defend it.
“Because of Prince’s well-known love for the vanishing act, a lot of us are left feeling incomplete in the act of saying goodbye,” he wrote.
“For starters, it’s hard to accept him no longer being here and in the upcoming award season for 2017, there will be a gang of tributes… EVERYBODY wants and deserves a chance to say goodbye in their own way. But remember: there will be AMAs, SoulTrain, NAACP, MTV, Grammy and a gazillion other tributes,” he continued.
“The point is, lets not get ugly with playing the ‘Prince wouldn’t approve’ game.”
But despite her famous friends coming to her aid, Madonna was not happy with the backlash, firing off a social media message of her own.
“Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to. Whatever your age, gender or skin colour,” she wrote. “If you loved him and he inspired you, then show it!”
She then posted a video of herself dancing with the caption “This is my ‘I’m not your b—ch, don’t hang your s—t on me’ dance”.
Watch all the highlights from the 2016 Billboard Music Awards in the video below