Super Bowl LII halftime show: Timberlake’s first since 2004 controversy

Written by Sarah Albertino, Staff Writer

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In 2004, Justin Timberlake performed during the Super Bowl Halftime Show along with Nelly, Sean Combs, Kid Rock, and Janet Jackson. He performed his song “Rock Your Body” with Jackson at the end of the show. During the final line of the song, Timberlake pulled a piece of Jackson’s clothing off, revealing her right breast to 143.6 million people. The event sparked huge controversy and Janet Jackson’s career declined and faced significant backlash as result of the wardrobe malfunction while Timberlake’s career skyrocketed.

Justin Timberlake started off with a performance of the lead single off his latest album, “Filthy.” He then went into a performance of “Rock Your Body,” which was a very daring move considering the controversy the song rose the last time it was performed during the Super Bowl. He carefully omitted the lyric, “I’ll have you naked by the end of this song,” making a subtle nod to Jackson because it is the lyric that was performed during her wardrobe malfunction in 2004’s Super Bowl.

Timberlake then goes through an assortment of his songs throughout the years until he stops to make a tribute to Prince. He performs Prince’s song “I Would Die 4 U” on a piano while a banner sporting video of Prince plays. After the tribute, he finished with “Mirrors” and an energetic performance of “Can’t Stop the Feeling.”

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