MINNEAPOLIS – Justin Timberlake has paid tribute to Prince during his Super Bowl halftime performance with a cover of “I Would Die 4 U.”
The singer’s set started out in an underground portion of U.S. Bank Stadium made to look like a club filled with lasers and dancers. Timberlake emerged from into the stadium and performed a dance-filled set that included “Sexyback” and “Cry Me A River.”
Timberlake danced atop the NFL logo and then with a marching band for “Suit & Tie.”
The singer kept on his feet before taking a seat at a white piano to perform “I Would Die 4 U” with footage of Prince projected onto a long screen in the middle of the stadium.
Before the game, there were rumors that Timberlake would use a hologram of Prince during his performance, drawing criticism from fans and those who knew the late superstar.
TMZ reported Saturday that Timberlake was set to use a hologram of Prince during his halftime show performance. But Sheila E. said Sunday in an interview with The Associated Press that a hologram won’t appear.
“Prince had told me … don’t let anybody do a hologram of him for religious reasons, so I just posted that if this happened it’s kind of messed up and not cool,” the Grammy-nominated performer said.
“And then Justin’s people reached out to my manager and wanted to talk to me about it and we had a great conversation,” she added. “And I felt that it was OK to respond and let the fans know he said great things about Prince and the fans and how important they are. So it was a good conversation.”