Justin Timberlake took center field during the Super Bowl on Sunday night and performed a melody of hits, including “Cry Me A River,” “Suit & Tie,” “SexyBack,” “Senorita,” “Mirrors,” and “My Love.”
During Justin’s performance, he also paid homage to the late Prince. Unfortunately, people were livid over JT’s tribute.
In the the singer’s set, Timberlake launched into Prince’s “I Will Die For You.” Sitting at a piano, JT sings alongside a projected image of the legend while singing with Prince on an audio track.
Although the moment was magical, considering the SB was in Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis, people felt it was wildly disrespectful.
The late singer was particular about many things when it came to his craft, which is what made the “Purple Rain” singer so unique. Prince was not just known for originality, but he was against holograms and the idea of performing with artists who have passed on.
When asked by Guitar World back in 1998 if he wold jam with any artist from the past, he replied, “Certainly not. That’s the most demonic thing imaginable. Everything is as it is, and it should be. If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age. That whole virtual reality thing… it really is demonic. And I am not a demon.”
Although Prince was not a hologram during the Super Bowl, fans on Twitter still called JT out for not respecting Prince’s wishes.
Following the performance, JT stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon following the show, and explained that Prince has “always been the pinocle of musicianship for me … I wanted to do something for this city and something for him that would be the ultimate homage.”
He added, “I’m not going to lie to you guys … if I got the thumbs up from Questlove I’m good. We got the actual real vocal stems … and then we got uncut footage … it was this crazy serendipitous moment.”