Though Madonna and Prince collaborated on a song for her Like A Prayer album, to suggest that Madonna is even in the same league as Prince is akin to not being able to taste the difference between truck stop sushi of unknown origin and expiration date and, say, a culinary work of art created by Jiro Ono himself.
Fame and notoriety aside, Madonna is 100% reliant upon her producers, writing collaborators, and, ahem, backing dancers to create "the magic" while the only thing Prince needs to place the entire room under his spell is...Prince.
Chronologically speaking, while they both hit their commercial peaks at roughly the same time (1984-1985), Prince was on his sixth album when Madonna's second effort (Like A Virgin) made her a household name.
It should also come as little surprise to anyone that she and Prince are the same age.
So why did Madonna's tribute feel like the work of someone from an older generation paying tribute to a younger artist whose music they cannot relate to on any level so they turn it into something they can relate to and, in doing so, create musical milquetoast?
Additionally, bringing in a ringer such as Stevie Wonder to assist instead of doing the sensible thing and letting him do the tribute himself is yet another instance where a "half-assed A-list abomination" is chosen over "a transcendent moment by a legend" because the former will get more views, and more chatter in the news.
If only there was some other globally-popular artist from that era who is still relevant and has already proven their affinity for interpreting his music in a manner most fitting of Prince's work.
(forgive the video quality, but dig this Cyndi tribute to Prince from mere days ago)
That's right, we're talking about the one and only Cyndi Lauper.
Admit it, that would have been a lot more fitting. After all, her take on Prince "When You Were Mine" is widely considered to be every bit the equal to The Purple One's original version, if not superior.
She also has a new album to promote, which these network awards shows seem to really get off on, and can still sing the shit out of the phone book.
If you needed more star power, then perhaps gather the myriad of artists who actually recorded his songs: the Bangles, Martika, Sheila E., Sheena Easton, The Time, and, if you really want to drive up the ratings, maybe even that bald chick from the Chicago suburbs, Sinead O'Connor!
Now THAT would have been awesome.