Justin Timberlake will headline the Super Bowl LII halftime show for the big game taking place in Minneapolis on Feb. 4, it was announced on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
“I want to put together a performance that unifies,” Timberlake said Sunday in a brief interview. The star pledged to get people dancing.
Timberlake said he was “immediately excited” when offered the halftime gig.
He was asked if there was discussion with the NFL about the 2004 wardrobe malfunction when Timberlake performed with Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl and part of her breast was exposed.
“That won’t happen this time,” said Timberlake, who also performed at the 2001 Super Bowl halftime when he was a member of N’ Sync and the boy band teamed up with Britney Spears and Aerosmith for the halftime performance. “There was a little talk. No, that’s not going to happen.”
Timberlake, 36, said he’s been studying previous halftime shows and he was especially taken by U2’s program in 2002, a tribute to 9/11.
“I want to take the opportunity to put together a performance that unifies,” Timberlake said “And at some point have everyone shaking their booties.”
The halftime show, with its massive TV audience, is described by the NFL as the “most-watched musical event of the year” across all platforms.
Timberlake joins other musical megastars who’ve played the Super Bowl, including Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Madonna, the Who, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and more.
Super Bowl halftime acts rarely have anything to do with the host city, but Timberlake does have loose ties to Minnesota via his wife, actress Jessica Biel, who was born in Ely.
More tangentially, Timberlake might add a little local flavor into the show in another way: He’s a devout Prince fan, so let’s hope he would pay tribute to the late Minneapolis legend (and greatest halftime act ever).