Former boy band member turned solo artist, turned actor, turned dad Justin Timberlake performed at Sunday’s Super Bowl LII halftime show. While many speculated there would be a surprise appearance by Janet Jackson, or his former band members of NSYNC, he ultimately carried the show all by himself.
Introduced by BFF Jimmy Fallon, Timberlake rocked the stage in front of a small room of screaming fans before making his way into the stadium.
He sang several of his smash hits, including “Rock Your Body,” “Cry Me A River,” “My Love,” “SexyBack,” “Suit and Tie,” “Until The End Of Time” and “Can’t Stop This Feeling.”
As was rumored before the game, aside from his own music, Timberlake paid tribute to Prince, who died of a drug overdose in April 2016.
In honor of The Purple One, Timberlake played the piano and performed a rendition of “I Would Die 4 U,” and shared an enormous projection of Prince floating above them as the two sang a duet together. During the performance, the camera panned over Minneapolis, which was bathed in purple light in post-production in honor of the late singer.
Timberlake stuck with his word and didn’t give perform with any surprise guests.
Ahead of the Super Bowl, Timberlake said in a press conference that he was going to focus on his big band The Tennessee Kids at the game.
“To be honest, I had a ton of grand ideas about special guests,” Timberlake said. “There’s a whole list I think Vegas has a lot of odds on it, I heard, from ‘N Sync to (Jay-Z) to Chris Stapleton to Janet (Jackson). But this year, I’m just excited. My band The Tennessee Kids, they’re my special guests. And, I’m excited this year to rock the stage. And, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Timberlake closed the show with “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” Timberlake jumped into the stands and posed for a selfie with a teen as he performed.
Still, if Twitter is any indication, many were left underwhelmed by the halftime show.
Imo that was rather underwhelming #PepsiHalftime— Diana LaBoy (@DianaLaBoy) February 5, 2018
Straight up trash #PepsiHalftime— Mixzéé (@mixzeepopepope) February 5, 2018
Others still appreciated Timberlake’s artistry.