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Justin Timberlake Tries to Explain That Controversial Prince Tribute at the Super Bowl

He's speaking up after the much-talked-about performance

Keisha Hatchett

Justin Timberlake is opening up about his much-talked-about halftime performance during Super Bowl LII. The singer sang some of his greatest hits, including that song from Trolls and "Rock Your Body." But all anyone could talk about (his outfit aside) was Timberlake's tribute to Minnesota native Prince, in which Timberlake sang alongside a huge projection of the legendary artist performing "I Would Die 4 U."

"It's a moment for me, if I'm being quite honest, because [Prince has] always been the pinnacle of musicianship for me," Timberlake said during his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon after the game.

He continued, "When we decided that the serendipity and synergy that we would be in Minneapolis and that, you know, he's such a special thing here, aside from what he is all over the world, I just felt like I wanted to do something for this city and something for him that would be the ultimate homage to what I consider the G.O.A.T. of musicians."

Ahead of Timberlake's solo halftime performance, he received backlash when it was reported that he might use a hologram of Prince as part of his act. Prince was openly against the concept, once saying , "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."

Justin Timberlake Honored Prince During his Super Bowl Halftime Show

However, Timberlake confirmed that he would not be using a hologram and opted for the giant projection instead, which many found to still be disrespectful of Prince's wishes. Many viewers also took ire with Timberlake honoring Prince at all since the self-proclaimed Man of the Woods previously dissed Prince on multiple occasions in the past.