Justin Timberlake Pays Tribute To Prince In Super Bowl Performance

During this year’s Super Bowl halftime performance, Justin Timberlake stunned the scene with performances of his classic hits that brought everyone down memory lane. Alongside his songs, Timberlake also pulled a surprise tribute to Prince, as the Super Bowl LII took place in his hometown. He covered Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” with a video projection of the late musician performing the song at the same time last February 4 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.The tribute was moving, but there were behind the scenes controversies that stirred as well. Some Prince fans reminded how the artist despised hologram use and slammed the performance.

Even though they used a video projection instead, it didn’t stop negative criticisms. Some fans also gave negative responses due to the feud and lyrical diss Timberlake and Prince had years ago.

Justin became a guest in “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and discussed with the host about his tribute to Prince. He told Jimmy they managed to use real vocal recordings from the original song and uncut footage from Prince’s performance of the song in “Purple Rain.”

The way the “Purple Rain” singer’s projection and his performance synced up, Timberlake believed, was from Prince “looking down” on them. Timberlake used the opportunity to “do something special” for both the city and Prince.

Timberlake had also asked Roots drummer and Prince’s friend, Questlove, if the tribute was appropriate. Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, also addressed what her brother’s stance could have been.

She enjoyed Justin’s tribute to her brother and believed that Prince didn’t hold grudges. In the end, Timberlake wished to pay respects to Prince through his performance as well. Despite being under fire for his tribute, there’s no denying his presentation brought about many feelings from the Super Bowl audience.

Photos: Instagram / justintimberlake; Getty / Christopher Polk