A Billboard Awards producer is defending Madonna's upcoming tribute performance for Prince after his fans created an online petition to stop it.
Dr. Luke isn't the only one wanting to block a performance at this Sunday's upcoming Billboard Music Awards show in Las Vegas. Prince's loyal followers banded together to create a petition on Change.org that urges Billboard execs to pull Madonna from the show, but they're sticking to their decision.
"Listen, I think everybody is entitled to their opinion and everyone can have their own opinion, but I will say that we are honored and could not be more excited for Madonna to be on the show and to pay tribute to someone that was her friend and her peer and her colleague," the show's executive producer Mark Bracco said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I think it's going to be fantastic."
Prince played guitar on three songs off Madonna's Like A Prayer record, including the album-title track, "Keep It Together" and "Act of Contrition." Bracco made no mention of what Madonna has plans to do, but says "it's going to be very, very intimate and very respectful," adding "I think it's something that is really going to pay tribute to Prince as the incredible, groundbreaking artist that he was and the influence that he had on music," he said.
The outrage surrounding Billboard's choice to solely use Madonna is because some feel there are other artists more closely aligned to Prince that should be included. Some argue the artist should be black. Then, producers heard from Madonna's camp.
"Honestly her team gave a call and inquired about what we might be thinking about and it led to many conversations about what would she want to do and how would we want to shape it creatively," he said. "And after everyone (got) comfortable with exactly what the direction was, we all collectively wanted to go into Madonna, that she would do this and she has been very, very involved in how this will all unfold creatively."