Justin Timberlake covered Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” along with audio and video of Prince’s original performance of the song.
The 37-year-old singer sang his new single, “Filthy” before playing “Rock Your Body.” He also played “Cry Me A River” and “My Love” among others.
Then, he performed “I Would Die 4 U” while a projection of Prince played.
Part of the city of Minneapolis lit up purple with the Prince symbol. NBC showed the image from above.
Justin Timberlake under fire after giving a tribute to Prince during the SuperBowl Halftime Show despite Prince's public statements against Timberlake and Prince's strong beliefs against technology like the one used to present Prince as a hologram. #Prince pic.twitter.com/z1tqRQHPiP
— Music News Facts (@musicnewsfact) February 5, 2018
It’s not quite a hologram. Part of Justin Timberlake’s Prince Tribute: pic.twitter.com/j4EZfpj7ae
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) February 5, 2018
There had been rumors that Timberlake was going to use a hologram of Prince, who is from Minneapolis, as a tribute to the late singer.
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) February 5, 2018
During an interview 20 years ago, Prince had expressed horror of holograms of any deceased musician.
“That’s the most demonic thing imaginable,” Prince said in 1998, CBS Sports reported.
“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.”
When word first broke of the hologram idea, Prince friend Sheila E. tweeted: “Prince told me don’t ever let anyone do a hologram of me. Not cool if this happens!”
It didn’t materialize.
There was also speculation that Timberlake would perform with Janet Jackson in an attempt to recreate the controversial 2004 Super Bowl. Jackson, over the weekend, issued a statement that she wouldn’t be performing.
At the end of the performance, Timberlake walked up into the stands. He allowed a young fan take a selfie with him.
— Jason Aldean (@Jason_Aldean) February 5, 2018