Justin Timberlake was “100%” planning on using a Prince hologram for his Super Bowl halftime show tribute on Sunday, but backed out at the last minute.
via Page Six:
Justin Timberlake was “100 percent ready to use the hologram” for his Prince tribute during his Super Bowl halftime show performance on Sunday, sources say — but backed out at the last minute.
“He was 100 percent ready to use the hologram but nixed it due to backlash from social media and Prince fans. That’s why he had that sheet up like in your mama’s backyard,” sniped one insider.
Prince’s longtime pal Sheila E. had tweeted that Timberlake was not going to use a hologram after they spoke on Saturday. “Family, I spoke w/Justin 2nite and he shared heartfelt words of respect for Prince & the Purple fans .?.?. There is no hologram.”
But in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” she also hinted that she had nixed the hologram idea personally. “I just said no. I just felt that it was too soon,” she told ET. “The hologram was weird, and Prince did tell me [to] make sure nobody ever does a hologram [of him] .?.?. He thought it was very demonic and that’s his spiritual beliefs.”
However, a source close to Timberlake told us the hologram plan was never fixed: “There’s no way Justin would ever disrespect Prince’s legacy. He didn’t change his performance.”
Prince fans were also upset about Timberlake hosting his “Man of the Woods” album listening party at the late icon’s Paisley Park and allowing alcohol to be served, but the source told us he had previously gotten the Prince estate’s blessing.
Prince’s estate said in a statement:
“Justin Timberlake, the NFL and the City of Minneapolis used the stadium and the city to give a beautiful hometown tribute to Prince. The two pieces of footage that appeared on the screens were licensed from the ‘Purple Rain’ movie and a vintage performance in Syracuse, NY.”
That sheet idea did look a little ‘last-minute’ for a show as elaborate as the Super Bowl, don’t you think? Either way — it’s done now.