A Queen Honors A Prince

A sleeve of ruffled lace sat atop a crystal-studded cane, while a diamond cross dangled in the spotlight.

A throne of purple velvet slowly turned to reveal Madonna, resplendent in a shiny purple-and-lavender paisley suit and ethereally blonde curls. The opening notes of Prince’s own ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ – most memorably performed by Sinead O’Connor at the dawn of the 90’s – came out of her mouth and the world wept to see the Last Great Pop Star of their generation paying tribute to a recently-fallen one.

No one could have done this better, no one could have made it mean more, and no one else was a more worthy angel for conveying Prince’s pop legacy. As tears filled her eyes, and she sang the words that suddenly rang with greater import than ever before, it was clear that this was the emotional catharsis so many of us needed – a eulogy of priceless proportion, singularly commanded by the only other performer remotely near his legendary level. When Stevie Wonder appeared and began the final walk into ‘Purple Rain’ it was an astounding tribute to an astounding icon.

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