As much as Justin Timberlake’s new album Man Of The Woods built anticipation for his return to the Super Bowl Halftime show, a story that broke this weekend ended up taking center stage. The story was that Timberlake was going to perform with a hologram of Prince, in a nod to the Minneapolis crowd and location of this year’s big event. Unfortunately, this was not something that excited fans in any way, and most people were calling for Timberlake’s camp to reconsider.
Well, after kicking the show off with his brand new single “Filthy,” Timberlake ran through a series of his other hits, including “Suit & Tie” which features Jay-Z — who didn’t show — and one of his biggest hits, “SexyBack.” After that, he did end up honoring The Purple One, but not with a hologram per se. Instead, a visual of Prince was projected up onto a big screen, and Justin sat down at a piano for a rendition of “I Would Die 4 U.”
While it seemed like a nice gesture designed to honor his legacy and hometown, it still doesn’t totally jive with the reclusive singer’s reticence to be part of the larger capitalistic web of music and entertainment conglomerates. Watch the clip above and leave your thoughts on Prince’s incorporation into the performance in the comments below.