The Roots, Erykah Badu and Bilal kicked off the first of many Prince tributes at the BET Awards, which felt more like “The Prince Tribute Show” on Sunday.
The Roots backed Badu as she performed “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker,” singing softly as she grooved in place. Bilal, with The Roots again, sang “The Beautiful Ones” and kicked it off with a high falsetto. He was sensual and passionate, even lying on the floor while singing near the end of the performance. Audience members — including Fantasia, Tyrese and Jidenna — stood up to sing along and cheer him on.
The performers were introduced by comedian-actor Dave Chappelle, who famously impersonated Prince on his parody show years ago.
The tributes to Prince come a month after he was honored at the Billboard Music Awards by Madonna and Stevie Wonder, which was met with criticism online. Quickly following it, BET tweeted: “Yeah, we saw that. Don’t worry. We Got You.”
Gordon may join ‘Live’
Jeff Gordon is open to succeeding Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa’s new “Live” co-host — so long as he could continue his new job as a NASCAR analyst.
Gordon is calling his final race of the season Sunday for Fox Sports and then will head into the first significant downtime of his professional career. The four-time NASCAR champion is in his first year in the broadcast booth, and he insisted Saturday he’ll be back next year when Fox resumes coverage of the first half of the season.
However, Gordon didn’t quash recent speculation that ABC is interested in him joining Ripa on “Live.” Gordon co-hosted with Ripa nine times during the “Live With Regis and Kelly” era.
“I am flattered that my name has been associated with that,” Gordon said when asked about the possibility of him joining “Live.”
F. Lee Bailey bankrupt
Famed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey, whose legion of high-profile cases includes the O.J. Simpson murder trial, has filed for bankruptcy in Maine in an effort to discharge an IRS debt of more than $5 million.
Debts to the IRS aren’t normally discharged in bankruptcy proceedings, but the 83-year-old Bailey said Friday that they can be if one abides by certain conditions, such as filing and paying his taxes on time since the original taxes and penalties were assessed.
The debt stems from a dispute of his reportable income from 1993 to 2001, The Portland Press Herald reported.
Actor Chandler Riggs (”The Walking Dead”) is 17. … Actress Madylin Sweeten (”Everybody Loves Raymond”) is 25. … Reality star Khloe Kardashian is 32. … Actor Tobey Maguire is 41. … Writer-director J.J. Abrams is 50. … Actress Julia Duffy (”Newhart”) is 65. … Singer Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys is 74.