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Very Real

Some Prince Fans Are Fuming At Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl Halftime Performance

Do they have a point? 

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Super Bowl LII took place in Minneapolis last night. When Justin Timberlake took the stage for the halftime show, he covered hometown favorite Prince by singing the late superstar's "I Would Die 4 U." Although some saw the show— which included the stadium and nearby area being lit up in Prince's signature purple, as a homage—some Prince fans are fuming about the performance.

As USA Today reports, the performance showcased a giant projection of Prince on a sheet. Many loyalists felt that Prince would not have wanted his image posthumously used like this. In a 1998 interview with Guitar World magazine, he was asked directly about the use of digital editing to "create a situation where you could jam with any artist from the past." He hated the idea of using technology to manipulate an artist. "That's the most demonic thing imaginable," he said. "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." He continued, "To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control."

Prior to the halftime show, there was initial reported speculation (and outrage) that a hologram of Prince would be used. There was so much backlash that Prince's friend and collaborator, Sheila E" took to social media to confirm that the hologram wasn't happening. "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."

Outside of the technology, many fans pointed to the fact that Prince and Timberlake didn't appear to be friendly in real life, and had a feud 11 years ago. Prince reportedly dissed Timberlake's "SexyBack" in 2006: “For whoever is claiming that they are bringing sexy back, sexy never left!” On “Give It To Me,” Timberlake responded with, “We missed you on the charts last week. Damn, that’s right you wasn’t there. Now if se-sexy never left, then why is everybody on my sh*t?. Don’t hate on me just because you didn’t come up with it.” At the 2007 Golden Globes, Timberlake made fun of Prince's height while accepting an award on his behalf.

Comedian Sinbad blasted the performance for this reason.

Chef and TV personality Eddie Huang also shared his bad review. 

What did you think of Justin Timberlake's performance?

{Photo: Getty Images] 

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