Justin Timberlake slammed by fans for 'disrespectful' Prince tribute during the Super Bowl halftime show
Back in 2004, Justin Timberlake performed during the Super Bowl halftime show. Nobody actually remembers what he sang, or what he wore, or even what else happened during everyone else's performances, because the only thing documented from that fateful day is the fact that he accidentally exposed Janet Jackson's breasts during the routine.
It was awkward, to say the least.
Anyway, after taking a 14-year hiatus from performing at the biggest sporting event of the year, the former NSYNC singer was back... and he messed up again.
In all fairness, Timberlake's performance went pretty well for the most part. He played a medley of his greatest hits, which included 'Cry Me A River', 'SexyBack', and 'My Love', before dancing with the crowd and taking a selfie with possibly the most awkward kid to have ever graced our TV screens.
However, amongst the mix of his own songs, Timberlake also performed a tribute to Prince. The 37-year-old 'Cry Me a River' artist took to the piano in order to sing 'I Would Die 4 U' while footage of the late singer played behind him on the big screen.
Unfortunately, Timberlake's decision to include video of Prince in his performance rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.
But what exactly was it about the performance that got some people so riled up?
Well, in 1998, the 'Purple Rain' artist gave an interview with Guitar World, in which he discussed his opinion on artists using hologram technology to perform alongside other musicians from the past. When asked if he thought the practice was acceptable, he said:
"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. 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."
What's more, many people have claimed that Prince didn't actually like Timberlake (which is likely, seeing as JT dissed Prince in his 2007 track, 'Give it to Me'), and that the 'Man of the Woods' artist was only using his image in order to somehow garner more attention for his performance.
If this was Timberlake's attempt at redeeming himself after that cringe-worthy display 14 years ago, it didn't really go down all that well. Sure, a lot of his fans were pleased to see him perform again, but a lot of Prince's fans were mad that someone would dare to disrespect their icon's wishes in such a blatant way.
Maybe JT didn't know, or maybe he just thought it was no big deal. Either way, he dropped the ball on this one and there are a lot of folks out there who want him to acknowledge his mistake.