The first wave of performers for the BET Awards Prince tribute was announced Tuesday morning on what would have been Prince's 58th birthday.
Prince collaborator Sheila E., the Roots, D'Angelo and Janelle Monae lead off the list of acts for what BET.com is calling "The Greatest Prince Tribute Ever." The Artist died in April. The BET Awards are June 26 at 7 p.m.
The BET tribute is the one that audiences have been waiting for, especially after the BET teaser for its awards show clowned the Billboard Music Awards tribute that included a solo from Madonna.
BET has some practice at this; the awards show presented Prince with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award award and the requisite tribute in 2010. Monae performed "Let's Go Crazy," which has since become part of her own sets.
Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, co-stars of ABC's blackish, will return as co-hosts. Performances by Maxwell and Alicia Keys, who also performed in the tribute in 2010, have already been announced.
The show announced its nominees in May. Drake leads with nine nominations; Beyonce and Rihanna come in next with five each. Nominees for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist, Best Female Hip-Hop Artist and Best Collaboration were announced with a music video choreographed by Will "Willdabeast" Adams.
Prince's birthday has inspired: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has declared June 7 as Prince Day in the state; V Magazine has released new photos from a photo shoot; and Tidal has added 15 new albums to its collection of His Purple Majesty's music.
Best of all for us here in Dallas-Fort Worth, Smooth R&B 105.7 has rechristened itself as "Prince 105.7." The station is playing nothing but Prince from 2 to 7 p.m. today during "The Smooth Ride Home" with Tony Scott.