Well ah, that was certainly a thing. After threatening to use a hologram and then getting blocked from doing so, Justin Timberlake made sure Prince‘s presence was felt during the Super Bowl Half Time show earlier today, and fans are fairly crabby about it.
This year’s Super Bowl is being held in Minneapolis, which was famously the city where the iconic and dearly departed Prince called home. So even breathing his name in that town has to be done with the utmost reverence.
But JT’s momentary nod to the Purple One is copping bulk heat. In the middle of his performance, Timberlake sat behind a piano on-field, positioned in front of a giant sheet upon which classic footage of Prince was projected many feet high as Timberlake performed a snippet of Prince’s hit I Would Die 4 U, lighting the area of the city surrounding the stadium up in purple in tribute.
.@JTimberlake pays tribute to Prince during his #SuperBowl halftime show performance https://t.co/AnoevlnJIt #SB52 pic.twitter.com/goZZlcoJSp
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 5, 2018
But the public response to the performance has been ahh… not exactly kind.
Meanwhile Prince is in heaven like pic.twitter.com/lcsjAufAUF
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 5, 2018
Dang close to a hologram. Glad he didn’t use #Prince audio. Respect our icon. Minneapolis is Prince town but if he were alive would it been done. Prince would find it cringeworthy I’m afraid. #PepsiHalftime pic.twitter.com/3PCJhVLNtY
— Grassroots Voice (@GrassrootsJill) February 5, 2018
I wish #Prince had written a will. All of this could’ve been avoided
— Stephanie. (@qsteph) February 5, 2018
If they wanted to honor Prince at the Super Bowl they should have scrapped the national anthem and played Purple Rain.
— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) February 5, 2018
#oomf said Prince is in heaven like this pic.twitter.com/rajUuEuEZC
— Mr. M (@willvstyrone) February 5, 2018
Prince would not have wanted any of that. Just saying. pic.twitter.com/Hv9dqRWTtZ
— Harry Hoofit (@Hoof_It_Harry) February 5, 2018
YOU DONT GET TO DISGRACE PRINCE AND MY FAVORITE SONG EVER IN THE SAME NIGHT
— ratsy cline 🐀🩸❤️🔥 (@chungledownbimm) February 5, 2018
The issue with the anger from fans stems from the fact that Prince himself repeatedly stated that he did not want to be displayed as a hologram, or anything of the sort, after he died. Both Prince’s family and former musical collaborators railed against the rumoured hologram plans late last week, with Sheila E in particular shouting down the notion.
Prince told me don’t ever let anyone do a hologram of me. Not cool if this happens! https://t.co/khtCjXr2mY
— SheilaEdrummer (@SheilaEdrummer) February 3, 2018
And yet old mate still ploughed ahead and did that, huh.
It’s technically not a hologram, but lordy is it ever in the same ball park.
Prince’s own Super Bowl Half Time show in 2007, where he performed in driving Floridian rain, remains untouchably the best Super Bowl Half Time show of all time.
Now that is a performance.