Justin Timberlake defends using Prince during Super Bowl halftime show

'He has always been the pinnacle of musicianship for me'

Jack Shepherd
Monday 05 February 2018 14:58
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Justin Timberlake on Super Bowl Prince tribute: 'It was a moment for me'

Justin Timberlake’s second Super Bowl halftime show drew a suitably mixed reaction, many fans disappointed by the singer’s use of archived Prince footage.

Speaking on Jimmy Fallon's late-night show following the performance, Timberlake discussed bringing the iconic singer back for a rendition of ‘I Would Die 4 U.’

“It’s a moment for me, if I’m being quite honest, because he has always been the pinnacle of musicianship for me,” Timberlake told the host.

“When we decided that the serendipity and synergy that we would be in Minneapolis and that, you know, he’s such a special thing here — aside from what he is all over the world — 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 [greatest of all time] of musicians.”

Timberlake added how The Roots’ drummer Questlove was the “encyclopaedia of music”, and with the musician's approval, everything would be ok.

Questlove, who leads the show’s band, called the halftime show “dope”. Timberlake then explained how they managed to get “actual vocal stems” from Prince’s archives along with uncut footage from the singer’s performance in Purple Rain.

“Somehow, some way, by the grace of probably Prince looking down on us, it synced up. It was like this crazy serendipitous moment. I just wanted to use that opportunity to do something special for this city, but most of all, for my favourite musician of all time.”

Before the halftime show, rumours of a hologram of Prince were dismissed, instead, Timberlake projecting an image on a gigantic sheet/shower curtain.

Pink also performed at the Super Bowl, singing the national anthem. She, too, was criticised for seemingly chewing gum before singing: however, it soon transpired she was sucking a throat lozenge due to a sore throat.

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