Half-time Controversy: Timberlake, Prince Beef Goes Beyond the Grave
Days after Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl halftime performance, people are still upset about the tribute he made to Prince.
Why? Well, there are two parts to this story. One part stems from a beef that Timberlake and Prince had.
In 2006, when Timberlake came out with "Sexy Back," Prince said, "For whoever is claiming that they are bringing sexy back, sexy never left!"
That comment didn’t go down too well with JT, who then went ahead and included some dis lyrics just for Prince on Timbaland’s "Give It To Me."
The lyrics that Timberlake sang on the track include: "Could you speak up and stop mu-mumbling? I don’t think you came in clear. When you’re sittin’ on the top, it’s hard to hear you from way up here. Now I saw you tryin’ to act cute on TV. Just let me clear the air. We missed you on the charts last week. D*mn, that’s right you wasn’t there. Now if se-sexy never left, then why is everybody on my s***? Don’t hate on me just because you didn’t come up with it."
If that supposed dig wasn’t enough, Timberlake then made fun of Prince at the Golden Globes in 2007, when he was forced to accept an award on the Purple One's behalf.
He squated down, clearly making fun of Prince's height, getting some big laughs from the room. So, no wonder people were losing their minds when Timberlake paid tribute to Prince during his Super Bowl halftime show, which involved a grand piano, from which Justin sat behind singing "I Would Die 4 U" while a projection of Prince singing was cast on a large sheet behind him.
Most people speculated that Timberlake would include a tribute to Prince some how since Minneapolis is Prince's home town. There were rumors that Timberlake planned on using a hologram of Prince and even used it in rehersals before the show, but when Prince's family found out, chaos ensued.
Sharon Nelson, Prince's eldest sister Tweeted, "UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES did we approve of this."
What would Prince want? Would he want to be portrayed this way after death? Apparently not.
In an interview with "Guitar World" in October 1998, Prince discussed the use of holograms.
"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," he said. "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."
Not all of Prince's family was upset by Timberlake's performance. Prince's sister, Tyka said that she was "pleasantly surprised" by and enjoyed his tribute to her brother. She said the family was aware the song would be performed, but they didn’t know footage of Prince would be used.
Still, she made a valid point which was that everyone "has their own idea of what Prince would have wanted, so it’s an impossible position for Justin."