Justin Timberlake pays tribute to Prince at Superbowl halftime show, angering fans of late legend

FP Staff

Feb,06 2018 14:28:51 IST

Justin Timberlake is in the news, but not only for his Superbowl halftime show on 4 February.

When Justin Timberlake was first announced as the artist headlining the Superbowl halftime show, there were rumors that the performance would feature a Prince hologram as a tribute to the late legend. It was later confirmed that the halftime show — which took place in Prince's hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota — would definitely feature some kind of a Prince tribute; and it did. But many Prince fans are angry about what unfolded during Timberlake's Superbowl performance.

Prince and Justin Timberlake/Image from Twitter.

Prince and Justin Timberlake/Image from Twitter.

It has been well documented that Prince and Justin Timberlake didn't get along. Even though Timberlake counts Prince as one of his biggest influences, the singer had a shaky relationship with the legend. Back in 2006, when Timberlake's 'SexyBack' was at the top of every global music chart, Prince reportedly said at a post-Emmy party, "For whoever is claiming they are bringing sexy back, sexy never left!"

Timberlake shot back at Prince with the song 'Give it 2 Me' (which also featured Nelly Furtado and Timbaland). Timberlake sang, "We missed you on the charts last week / Damn, that’s right, you wasn’t there / Now if se-sexy never left, then why is everybody on my shi-i-it? / Don’t hate on me just because you didn’t come up with it", a dig aimed clearly at Prince.

Before that, when presenting a Golden Globe to Prince for Happy Feet’s 'Song of the Heart', Timberlake squatted in front of the microphone to make fun of the late singer's small stature.

Prince fans haven't forgotten any of this. This is partly the reason why many were upset when rumors first surfaced that a Prince hologram will be used during the halftime show.

In 1998, in an interview with Guitar World, Prince spoke about the use of holograms and said, "That's the most demonic thing imaginable. 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."

You can see Prince clearly wasn't a fan of using holograms to bring dead artists back. Knowing this, Prince band member and his close friend, Sheila E., spoke to Timberlake to make sure there is no Prince hologram.

Now, after Timberlake's performance of Prince's 'I Would Die 4 U', many fans are mad with the video of the artist singing his 1984 classic projected on a screen.

Justin Timberlake has had a history of being mired in controversy when it comes to Superbowl halftime shows. He sang 'Rock Your Body' with Jackson in 2004, and that performance concluded with Timberlake ripping her costume to reveal her right breast bare except for a nipple shield. We'll still have to wait and see how this controversy pans out as Prince fans continue to go after Timberlake and his choice to recreate the classic Prince magic in a virtual format.

Updated Date: Feb 06, 2018 14:28 PM