After nearly 14 years, Justin Timberlake returned to the Super Bowl halftime stage for another memorable performance, and he wasn’t alone. No, he didn’t reunite with Janet Jackson after their disastrous “Nipplegate” performance in 2004. But instead, he revived a music legend: Prince.
JT surprised millions of viewers with a large projection of Prince in the Minnesota arena (Prince’s hometown) to perform one of his greatest hits. While the performance intended to be a sweet tribute to the late musician, many fans weren’t too happy.
During the 13-minute show, Timberlake started off in an intimate space, performing his newest single, “Filthy” off of his album, Man of the Woods. Making his way to the main arena, he then rolled through his hits throughout the decades, including “Sexy Back,” “Cry Me a River,” and “My Love.”
But the biggest surprise of the show came around the halfway mark, when Justin introduced Prince, who begin singing “I Would Die 4 You” wile Timberlake played the keys. The shocker came shortly after Prince’s dear, Sheila E., tweeted that Justin assured her there would be no hologram of Prince.
Following the performance, a number of Prince fans expressed their disappointment with the projection. Some also pointed to an old quote, in which Prince suggested that he would never like to be resurrected as a hologram. “That’s the most demonic thing imaginable,” Prince previously said in a 1998 interview. “Everything is as it is, and it should be. If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age. That whole virtual reality thing … it really is demonic. And I am not a demon. Also, what they did with that Beatles song (Free As A Bird), manipulating John Lennon’s voice to have him singing from across the grave … that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.”
Check out all of the Twitter reactions below.
Meanwhile Prince is in heaven like pic.twitter.com/lcsjAufAUF
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 5, 2018
You call what Justine Timberlake did to Prince an honor? Did you notice how thrilled the crowd was not?
— Emerge Peoria ⭐ VALIDATED ⭐ Social Distancer (@EmergePeoria) February 5, 2018
— Ms.Mickie (@MsMickie87) February 5, 2018
Does it bother anyone that prince felt to do a hologram of a dead singer was demonic and was completely against it,and it's disrespectful of Justine Timberlake to do it anyway???
— louisa (@louisa_cogan) February 5, 2018
You know the Justine Timberlake #SuperBowl halftime show was bad when the majority of people are talking about the dead guy who was forced to perform without his consent.
RIP Prince. pic.twitter.com/trgiXm8yI8
— Beatrice-Elizabeth Peterson (@MissBeaE) February 5, 2018
The only way this could turn out ok if if Prince’s mummified hand shoots down from space and chokes out JT on the 35 yard line
— Ben Silverman (@ben_silverman) February 5, 2018