Stars pay tribute to Prince at awards

Jennifer Hudson performed Purple Rain at the Black Entertainment Television awards.
Jennifer Hudson performed Purple Rain at the Black Entertainment Television awards.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • Stars paid tribute to the late singer Prince at Sunday's Black Entertainment Television (BET) awards in a series of performances honouring the late singer, while veteran actor Samuel L. Jackson was honoured for lifetime achievement.

The tributes came from enter- tainers ranging from Erykah Badu and The Roots to Stevie Wonder, Dave Chapelle and Jennifer Hudson, who sang one of Prince's iconic hits, Purple Rain.

Prince, 57, died in April at his home in Minnesota. The string of performances spanned the more than 31/2-hour BET broadcast, which was hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, from Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater.

Boxer Muhammad Ali, who died earlier this month aged 74, was also honoured in a special tribute which included his daughter, Laila, and Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx.

Jackson, accepting BET's Lifetime Achievement Award, which usually honours musicians, paid tribute to fellow honouree Jesse Williams, who received the Humanitarian Award, calling the Grey's Anatomy star "the closest thing I've heard to a 1960s activist".

Top awards handed out at the ceremony included Best Actor and Actress to Michael Jordan and Taraji Henson, while Bryson Tiller was named Best New Artist as well as Best Male R&B Pop Artist.

Rihanna took Best Female R&B Pop Artist. Drake & Future won Best Group, Beyonce's Formation took the award for Video of the Year, and Drake, who led the nominations with nine, also took home the prize for Best Male Hip-hop Artist.

Nicki Minaj won Best Female Hip-hop Artist. Sportswoman and Sportsman of the Year went to tennis star Serena Williams and basketball player Stephen Curry. Beyonce opened the marathon awards show with a surprise performance of Freedom, appearing alongside Kendrick Lamar.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2016, with the headline 'Stars pay tribute to Prince at awards'. Print Edition | Subscribe