Madonna performed ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ as a loving tribute to Prince at the Billboard Music Awards on May 22, but why did she sing a song made famous by Sinead O’Connor? Madonna’s choice was more appropriate than some may think!
Considering that Prince’s discography is full of incredible tracks — from “Kiss” to “Raspberry Beret” to “1999” — is it strange that Madonna, 57, decided to sing “Nothing Compares 2 U” as a tribute to him at the Billboard Music Awards? Though the song was a major hit for Sinead O’Connor, 49, Madonna’s BBMAs pick wasn’t a mistake.
Yes, Sinead achieved international success with her arrangement of “Nothing Compares 2 U” in 1990. However, the song that Madonna sang during her Prince tribute at the BBMAs on May 22 was originally written by Prince, according to Bustle, released as part of his 1985 side project, The Family. The band consisted of members of fellow Minneapolis rockers, The Time, Jellybean Johnson and more. They would only release that first self-titled album in 1985 before reforming as fDeluxe in 2009.
“Nothing Compares 2 U” didn’t really take off until it Sinead released it as her hit single. Yet, while it brought her major success, Prince wasn’t a huge fan of what the Irish singer did with his song. “I made it without him,” she told the Irish Independent in 2014. “He summoned me to his house — and it’s foolish to do this to an Irish woman — he said he didn’t like me saying bad words in interviews. So I told him to f*** off.” Yikes! Still, that seems like something Sinead would say. Stream Sinead, Prince and Madonna’s music, completely unlimited and ad-free, by signing up here.
Madonna’s choice of song for her tribute, with lyrics like “It’s been so lonely without you here / Like a bird without a song,” may have been done to express her love for the man who worked with her on her Like A Prayer album. Perhaps she also remembered how Prince played “Nothing Compares 2 U” during his very last performance in Atlanta, Georgia on April 14, and wanted to connect to the last time he played live.
Whatever compelled Madonna to pick that song, it didn’t take long for haters to slam her performance. She and Stevie Wonder, 66, were barely off the stage before BET released a promo dissing the tribute as lame. “Yeah, we saw that,” the network’s promo for their BET Awards, airing June 26, said. “Don’t worry. We got you.” It seems that BET thinks they can honor the Purple One better than Madonna ever could.
What do you think about Madonna’s choice for her Prince tribute, HollywoodLifers? Do you think she picked the right song?