Speaking of The Roots, drummer Questlove had previously paid tribute to Prince at an awards show over the past couple months, saying of his musical idol at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards, "All of us live in the land of music, and his departure from it was an natural disaster".
Tributes were sprinkled throughout out the show by a list of performers, including Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson and Janelle Monáe.
Well, they delivered. Multiple times.
"I chose songs I was already doing in my shows that Prince and I had collaborated on and written together", she revealed.
She said Beyonce had to quickly leave the awards show after her performance for a concert in London. He was backed by The Roots. He was sensual and passionate, even lying on the floor while singing near the end of the performance.
Monae channeled the look during her energetic homage to the "Kiss" singer, turning with her back to the audience and shimmying her derriere in a white lace ruffled suit during the final moments of her segment.
Twenty-five years ago Prince himself graced the 1991 MTV Video Awards in a pair of yellow trousers with cutouts highlighting his bare bum. The awards ended with one final tribute from longtime Prince drummer and collaborator Sheila E, who led a mix of her own band and many of Prince's former cohorts through a massive 10 minute medley of his songs.
When "Empire" star Taraji P. Henson won best actress, she encouraged the audience to vote against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. "I also thought I should start off on the drums with "Housequake" because I knew everybody would appreciate that song". She left no stone unturned. Joined by the inimitable Kendrick Lamar, Queen Bey took a flooded stage to once more bring spectacle and empowerment to the music world.
Beyoncé and Rihanna will compete with one another for best female R&B/pop artist, along with Adele, K. Michelle and breakthrough singer Andra Day.
"Straight Outta Compton" won the best movie gong.
"Thank God, thank my mommy, thank my granny".
Beyonce's mentees, the duo Chloe x Halle, earned a standing ovation after they sang impressively and played instruments.
Spike Lee, Jamie Foxx and Jussie Smollett will present awards.
The Grey's Anatomy actor received the Humanitarian Award for his activism but Williams, 34, used his speech as an opportunity to praise others in the black community.
Muhammad Ali could also be honoured at the BET Awards, though the network didn't announce official plans to pay tribute to the icon, who died June 3 at age of 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.
According to Billboard.com, Chappelle said in his introduction, "On April 21, we got that news (that Prince had died), and literally our hearts were broken".