For Madonna, Nothing Compares to Prince….
So, there’s been a lot of mixed reception following Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. Easily, the most anticipated performance was to be Madonna’s tribute to the late, great Prince. Whom we lost much too soon just a few weeks ago.
Dressed to kill in a Purple Rain-inspired suit (and cane to boot) that I cannot imagine the legend himself not approving of, Madonna graced the stage on her throne and while I was completely waiting for a tribute medley of such classics like When the Doves Cry, Little Red Corvette and Purple Rain, The Queen of Pop instead began to belt out Nothing Compares 2 U, the infamous Sinead O’Connor mega hit from 1990.
If you were thinking, “Oh my God, how embarrassing! Shes singing the wrong song?! Sinead O’Connor didn’t die!” rest assured. Nothing Compares 2 U was actually written by Prince himself. Prince wrote and recorded this song for a 1985 side project called The Family Band. It was an obscure, unknown track until O’Connor covered it on her masterpiece album, I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.
So, getting back t the million dollar question: Why did Madonna cover this song? It is not known as a Prince hit.
This was actually why I adored her performance, which ended with Stevie Wonder joining her onstage for a moving rendition of Purple Rain. Nothing Compares 2 U is one of my favorite songs. Its heartbreaking, it’s filled with longing and the lyrics against the minimal instruments makes for a space of loneliness like no other. The lyrics are one trying to grasp the stark realization that your love is never coming back.
I have witnessed such an outcry of sorrow since Prince Rogers Nelson left this world on April 21st. Much like my deep tides to musician, Tori Amos, its easy to understand how and why so many connected with Nelson and his massive catalogue of music. With genres ranging from dance, electro pop to contemporary and rock, he was an outstanding musical legend. (When once asked what its like to be the best guitar player in the world, Eric Clapton replied, “I wouldn’t know. Ask Prince”.)
That being said, I cannot think of a better song for Madonna to pay tribute to Prince with. I have already read countless comments on articles regarding her homage. Many are accusing her of lip syncing, being too old and not worth our time. (And, that she just wanted to look like the good guy. Since her and Prince had a feud years back and only recently made amends.)
Let me tell you. having seen Madonna for my birthday this past October, this woman is STILL rocking out so hard and putting on one of the best musical spectaculars out there. Yes, it has been nearly 35 years since her debut album, but, 300 million album sales later, and Madonna continues to put out quality pop records and tour like it’s no ones business. I would attend her concert again in a heartbeat.
Did you see Madonna’s tribute to the one and only Prince? What did you think? xo