Getty Images ; NBC
Getty Images ; NBC
BET Networks announced the first artists who will be participating in a special musical tribute at the 2016 BET Awards to honor late legendary artist Prince.
Prince's ex-fiancée Sheila E., The Roots, D'Angelo and Janelle Monáe will appear in the special live performance, along with other musicians who have yet to be announced. The "Purple Rain" crooner, who died from an opioid overdose in April, received the BET Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
Since Prince's passing, celebrities including Beyoncé and Bruce Springsteen, as well as the Broadway casts of Hamilton and The Color Purple, have all paid tribute to the star with covers of some of his hit songs. In May, Madonna honored Prince during the 2016 Billboard Music Awards. The pop star performed "Nothing Compares 2 U" and "Purple Rain" with help from Questlove and a surprise appearance by Stevie Wonder.
Her tribute, however, received polarized reviews and even criticism from BET Networks. Shortly after Madonna finished her performance, BET tweeted out a promo for its upcoming awards show. "Yeah we saw that. Don't worry. We Got You," the screen read under a purple image of Prince as it teased their planned tribute to the late legend.
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The "Material Girl" songstress defended her performance on Instagram. "Anyone who wants to do a tribute to Prince is welcome to. Whatever your age Gender or skin Color," she captioned a pic of herself wearing a purple boa and a bag that has "DEALER" printed on it. "If you loved him and he inspired you then show it!!!! I love Prince 4 ever."
Questlove also came out in defense of Madonna's performance. "EVERYBODY wants and deserves a chance to say goodbye in their own way. But remember: there will be AMAs, SoulTrain, NAACP, mtv, GRAMMYS. And a gazillion other tributes," he tweeted. "But the point is let's not get ugly w playing the 'Prince would and wouldn't approve' game. & this isn't *just about* the Madge/Stevie tribute btw."
The 2016 BET Awards will air live on Sunday, June 26, at 8 p.m. ET.