In his anticipated return to the Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake brought to stage one of Minneapolis' most popular sons: Prince Rogers Nelson or simply Prince.
During his halftime performance, Timberlake decided to pay tribute to the late music icon by performing one of his songs, "I Would Die 4 U." Meanwhile, a performance of Prince was projected on a white cloth draped onstage to make the collaboration possible. Prince was born in Minneapolis, the city that hosted the Super Bowl LII.
"I just felt like I wanted to do something for this city and something for him that would just be the ultimate homage to what I consider the GOAT of musicians," he told Jimmy Fallon.
During the conversation on The Tonight Show, the singer-actor shared details about the performance. He shared that the footage they used of Prince was actually from a performance of "Purple Rain," one of the singer's most popular songs.
What he failed to mention was the controversy surrounding the performance. Prior to the halftime, rumors surfaced that the sports event will use a hologram to bring back Prince. Knowing the singer's objection against the technology, his fans were understandably upset.
Prince's sister Sharon L. Nelson even spoke up on Twitter and condemned the performance.
— Sharon L. Nelson (@Sharon_L_Nelson) February 3, 2018
Sheila E. later revealed that she spoke to Timberlake's team who assured her that they will not use a hologram during the performance.
Fallon also did not bring up the past beef between Prince and Timberlake. In 2006, around the time that "Sexy Back" was blasting in every radio station, Prince allegedly poked fun of the song during an Emmys party, saying that "sexy never left."
Timberlake retaliated by making fun of Prince's stature when the latter won a Golden Globe for "Song of the Heart" from Happy Feet. The Man of the Woods singer also dissed the music icon in the song "Give It To Me."
Then, last week, the 37-year-old fanned the flame when he hosted a party at Paisley Park, Prince's Minnesota home, and served alcohol when the late singer, who is a Jehovah's Witness, abstained from drinking.
In addition, people were not happy that Timberlake was once again performing at the Super Bowl. To recall, he performed with Janet Jackson at the event in 2004, which ended with the female singer exposing her breast to millions of viewers on live television. Jackson accepted all the blame and has not been invited back to perform since then.