Timberlake’s Tribute to Prince

Jordan Barish, Staff Writer

On Sunday, February 5th, the 52nd Super Bowl was held in Minneapolis. The New England Patriots went up against the Philadelphia Eagles, with the Eagles coming away victorious in their first Super Bowl win in franchise history. While many people enjoy watching the Super Bowl, the halftime show is viewed by more people. This year, Justin Timberlake performed a variety of his songs, from Cry Me a River (2002) to Filthy (2018). Timberlake surprised viewers when he sang I Would Die 4 U, a Prince song, with a video of the late singer being projected on a white sheet hanging behind Justin. The two sang together as an aerial shot of the city of Minneapolis showed buildings lit up in purple with lights creating the image of Prince’s “Love Symbol.”

The tribute took place because Prince passed away relatively recently (April 21, 2016) and Minneapolis was his hometown. His famous Paisley Park residence, which acted both as his estate and his production complex, is located near the city as well. This is also only the second time Minneapolis has hosted the Super Bowl, so it seems Timberlake saw the opportunity to honor Prince and took it.

Later in the night when Timberlake appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, he told Fallon that, “I just felt like I wanted do something for this city and something for him that would just be the ultimate homage to what I consider the GOAT of musicians.”

The video below is of Timberlake’s full halftime performance. The Prince tribute appears from 8:56 to 10:01.