Almost four years after the music legend died of an accidental overdose, his legacy was honoured with a performance which saw Usher delivering a medley of Prince’s most recognisable hits.
As he performed tracks such as ‘Kiss’ and ‘When Doves Cry’, Usher was joined by Sheila E on drums, while FKA twigs danced next to him and performed on a pole.
— Opinionated Me (@opinion8dmecom) January 27, 2020
But in the wake of the performance, fans were firmly split into two camps. While some claimed that it was a worthy tribute to the Purple One, others argued that FKA twigs was sorely underused.
“So FKA twigs is being reduced by an Usher backup dancer now?,” asked one user.
Another said: “Not a fan of FKA Twigs being reduced to a pole dancer while Usher sings, even if it is a Prince tribute.”
Not a fan of FKA Twigs being reduced to a pole dancer while Usher sings, even if it is a Prince tribute #GRAMMYs
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) January 27, 2020
— Jüdice (@JudiceSay) January 27, 2020
So, FKA twigs is being reduced to a Usher backup dancer right now? pic.twitter.com/bvLdkuCVKv
— Pu†o (ง︡’-‘︠)ง (@GarbageTaint) January 27, 2020
While FKA twigs later clarified that she was not asked to sing, others were quick to hail it as a performance worthy of Prince’s mercurial talent.
“Usher killed that shit….He murder the #GRAMMYS stage. He did the purple one/Prince proud,” said one user.
John Legend added: “Just wanna say Usher gave a GOAT level performance tonight in tribute to Prince. He is incredibly gifted and works as hard as anyone in this business. I’ve been watching his meticulous preparation since @KanyeWeat and I opened for him in 04. Inspiring to watch him do his thing.”
Usher has slayed the Janet MTV ICON honor, that MJ special, and now this Prince tribute. He gets nothing but my respect. pic.twitter.com/YqlB8SS6Ge
— ✷???????✷ (@trapcry) January 27, 2020
Just wanna say @usher gave a GOAT level performance tonight in tribute to Prince. He is incredibly gifted and works as hard as anyone in this business. I've been watching his meticulous preparation since @kanyewest and I opened for him in 04. Inspiring to watch him do his thing.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) January 27, 2020
Elsewhere at the ceremony, Billie Eilish made history by taking home the awards for all four major categories – picking up Album Of The Year, Best New Artist, and Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year for ‘Bad Guy’.
The night also saw performances from the likes of Eilish, Grande, Lizzo, and Aerosmith, who performed without their drummer Joey Kramer. Lil Nas X also performed with some of the artists who collaborated with him on the various remixes of his hit single ‘Old Town Road’, including Diplo, Billy Ray Cyrus and BTS.
The ceremony also saw the emotional live comeback of Demi Lovato, after almost two years away from the stage.