Minneapolis had the opportunity to host Super Bowl LII this past Sunday. If you had absolutely no interest in either team playing this year, like me, you were maybe watching just for the ever-anticipated Super Bowl Halftime Show.
This year, Justin Timberlake was selected to perform between halves. Though, if Prince was still gracing this Earth, I would have hoped he would have been the entertainment of the night. You couldn’t get more Minnesota than that, unless of course, the Minnesota Vikings were playing.
In my opinion, the halftime show was OK. It wasn’t anything special, certainly nothing worth talking about for years after like Timberlake’s infamous first Super Bowl appearance in which Janet Jackson suffered a wardrobe malfunction.
Timberlake incorporated some of his classics into the evening, including “Cry Me a River,” “SexyBack,” “Rock Your Body” and “My Love” which had every ’90s baby in the crowd singing along. Mixed in with his original hits was his chart-topping single, “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and “Filthy” from his new album, “Man of the Woods.”
To hologram or not to hologram
The controversy revolving around Timberlake’s proposed Prince tribute sparked with the idea of integrating a hologram of the music legend.
It may not have been known to many, but Prince didn’t think too highly of the NSYNC star, commenting on his hit “SexyBack” that “sexy never left.”
Prince advocates took to social media to voice the wishes of the late prince of pop since he wasn’t able to protect himself. In a previous interview with “Guitar World” in 1998, Prince blatantly spoke on his disdain for digitally resurrecting deceased artists for the sake of a tribute, commenting, “That’s the most demonic thing imaginable … that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.”
The night before the big day, Prince’s long-time friend, Sheila E. tweeted that she had met with Timberlake and confirmed there would be no hologram of Minnesota’s beloved. The news came to the relief of many long-time fans.
JT opened up the halftime show with his most recent release, “Filthy,” in a makeshift underground nightclub and emerged onto the field where he moved on to “Rock Your Body” and “Señorita.”
The Renaissance man transitioned effortlessly through hit after hit including, “SexyBack,” “My Love,” “Cry Me a River,” “Suit & Tie” and “Until the End of Time” before moving onto the much-anticipated tribute to the late Prince.
Sitting at a grand piano bathed in purple light in front of a projection of Prince on a curtain hanging from the ceiling of U.S. Bank Stadium, JT paid homage to the Purple One by simultaneously singing along to a video of him performing, “I Would Die 4 U.”
Timberlake’s performance paled in comparison to a performance to the late legend, and the projection was a little too close to the unwanted hologram for comfort. But when the entire city of Minneapolis became awash in purple in the formation of Prince’s iconic Love Symbol, I had the chills.
Prince and his love for Minneapolis would have been proud.