On the stage at the Super Bowl half time show, the fans of the late "Purple Rain" singer, Prince, were underwhelmed by the performance of the former NSYNC singer Justin Timberlake who wanted to pay tribute to Prince in his performance (video below).
Timberlake tried to sing a duet of "I Would Die 4 U" in honor of the late artist, alongside a projection of him. But the performance upset many Prince fans.
The projection of Prince’s image from his performance at the Super Bowl in 2007 ended this attempt at a tribute. Later, an aerial shot showed Prince’s hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota, lit up in purple in his honor.
But, this attempt did not sway the fans of the late pop icon, as his fans turned on Timberlake, saying that the late artist would not have liked this, and that the two artists did not get along.
To this, Jamele Hill, an ESPN columnist tweeted, “Problem is, a lot of people down with Prince know he wouldn’t approve.”
"The Prince tribute would’ve been cool ... except Prince specifically said he didn’t want that, right?" tweeted Adam Best, a film producer. "Even in death, Prince continues to be misunderstood."
A top comment was delivered by director Victoria Mahoney, which read, "If you ever shared two words with Prince. Or heard him speak. Or watch him play. You would understand in the base of your bones - them deciding to use his hologram at the Super Bowl - would've busted his heart to pieces."
Timberlake, who is a polished singer, performed a medley that was full of his energy-packed hits alongside his newest tracks. The crowd in the stadium was quite ecstatic and on their feet with this energetic performance. But this standard concert style show left the fans who were watching this show at home unimpressed, as this performance lacked Timberlake’s astonishing showmanship from more recent years.
Fans who were craving a cameo from Timberlake's 2004 half-time co-entertainer Janet Jackson, or maybe an NSYNC reunion, were left disappointed. A lot of people aired their regret, one of whom was actress and singer Demi Lovato, who wrote, "But …. *NSYNC ….." and ended her tweet with a crying emoji.
This wasn’t Timberlake’s first Super Bowl performance. He had also performed in 2001 when he made a cameo during his then-girlfriend Britney Spears’ performance alongside his band, NSYNC.
Unlike Lady Gaga’s performance in 2017, where she arrived by air and abseiled down to the arena, Timberlake more traditionally emerged from a tunnel and onto the field.
He performed his song, "Filthy", and then transitioned into a medley of "Rock Your Body" and then, "Sexyback". Other tracks he performed to were "Suit & Tie", which he performed alongside a tuxedo-clad marching band on a white platform.
He then took things down a notch and began to play "Until The End Of Time" on a white grand piano just before he went on to perform a cover of Prince’s "I Would Die 4 U".
To end the show, he performed his mega hit "Can’t Stop the Feeling" from the children’s movie "Troll".