Justin Timberlake rocked his body Sunday night at the 52nd Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show. Performing live from the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Timberlake danced and grooved to his most famous hits, while also paying tribute to Minnesota native, Prince.
The 37-year-old singer kicked off the show with his most recent single, “Filthy.” Making his way to the main stage, Timberlake transitioned into “Rock Your Body” accompanied by a crowd of backup dancers. On his way to the stage, he also introduced his band, The Tennessee Kids.
Reminiscent of the early 2000s, Timberlake sang his most iconic songs—“Sexy Back” and “Cry Me A River”—presumably giving spectators flashbacks of when they used to jam to these songs back in the day.
While “Sexy Back” was one of the most memorable moments of the night, “Cry Me a River” seemed a little rushed and lacked the attention and detail that the classic track deserves.
The singer then took a dance break at center field, reminding everyone that even though his boy band days are far behind him, he is still an all-around talented performer.
Joined by a group of trumpets and trombones, Timberlake then smoothly sang “Suit & Tie,” swiftly dancing around the microphone stand.
Timberlake proceeded to slow things down when he sang a piano version of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.” As he sang, a huge projection of Prince was displayed behind him. The whole stadium was lit up in purple as an homage to the late artist.
Before the show, there were rumors that a hologram of Prince was going to make an appearance. Many fans of Prince were showing concern, as the “Purple Rain” singer once said he did not want to be made into a hologram.
Due to this, Timberlake settled for a projected image of the artist and quickly continued with his setlist transitioning into “Mirrors,” in which dancers holding actual mirrors surrounded the singer.
“Can’t Stop The Feeling” was the final song of the show, as Timberlake made his way to the stands and sang alongside spectators. Meanwhile, the field was filled with a colorful crowd energetically dancing and cheering.
This was Timberlake’s third time on the halftime stage, making history as the individual performer with the most Super Bowl appearances. He first performed with NSYNC back in 2001. Then, in 2004, Timberlake performed alongside Janet Jackson where, in an infamous incident, he accidentally tore off her bra, exposing her breast. The incident, commonly referred to as “Nipplegate,” caused a wave of controversy and legal discussions with the Federal Communications Commission.
This year’s performance, however, was stripped of scandals and lavishness as Timberlake gave an energetic yet simple performance. Besides the intricate dance numbers, the show didn’t produce many “wow” moments.
Although people were expecting NSYNC or Janet Jackson to make a guest appearance, the halftime show consisted solely of Timberlake, his band, and the surprise projection of Prince.
While it is usually a tradition for the headlining acts to bring guest performers, Timberlake was not the first one to go solo as Lady Gaga did the same last year.
Audiences watching had mixed reviews of Timberlake’s halftime show.
Most viewers, however, couldn’t stop commenting on the teenage boy who appeared next to Timberlake near the end of his performance. The kid, who took a selfie with Timberlake, was shown on TV for the last few seconds of the performance with a starstruck and dumbfounded face.
Even though this Super Bowl lacked shock worthy moments such as “Nipplegate,” Lady Gaga falling into the stage, or Katy Perry’s left shark, Timberlake gave a genuinely heartfelt performance and provided viewers with a few minutes of good old-fashioned entertainment.
Image Source: WikiMedia