Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl 52 halftime show remains a mystery, but there is confirmation about a couple of things it will not contain: a hologram of Prince and appearances by Janet Jackson or ‘N Sync.
Although there’d been plenty of buzz that the Purple One, who died two years ago in April, might make an appearance via hologram, Prince’s longtime bandmate, Sheila E., said Saturday that Timberlake had told her Saturday that there would be no hologram of the Minnesotan. While Timberlake may well cover a Prince song, Sheila E. tweeted, “Family, I spoke w/Justin 2nite and he shared heartfelt words of respect for Prince & the Purple fans. I look 4wrd 2 seeing what I’m sure is going 2 be a spectacular halftime show. There is no hologram.”
Although the hologram was intended to honor Prince, whose Super Bowl XLI show in a Miami downpour is one of the all-time best, Prince himself had spoken about how using the hologram of a dead musician would be “the most demonic imaginable.”
“That’s the most demonic thing imaginable,” Prince said in a 1998 interview with Guitar World. “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. Also, what they did with that Beatles song [‘Free As a Bird’], manipulating John Lennon’s voice to have him singing from across the grave … that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.”
(Prince also rocked his media news conference; just watch.)
Janet Jackson will not be joining Timberlake either. She put to rest the rumors that she would take part, reprising a collaboration that ended with a celebrated wardrobe malfunction during halftime of the 2004 game.
“To put to rest any speculation or rumors as to whether I will be performing at the Super Bowl tomorrow; I will not,” she tweeted. “Thank you for your support and I do look forward to seeing you all very soon.”
Timberlake also ruled out an appearance with his old group, ‘N Sync, saying only that the Tennessee Kids would join him for a show that would feature things “never done before.”