Justin Timberlake returns to the Super Bowl stage 14 years after ‘Nipplegate’

  • Entertainment
  • Monday, 23 Oct 2017

Justin Timberlake tweeted on Oct 22 afternoon that he will perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2018. Photo: AFP

It’s official! Justin Timberlake tweeted on Oct 22 that he will perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2018. The game is set for Feb 4, Sunday at Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium. Variety reported on Sept 27 that Timberlake was the frontrunner.

Timberlake’s announcement was the latest instalment in his ongoing bromance with Jimmy Fallon, beginning with the two of them asking, “Do you have the time?” in jokey British accents, which evolves into, “You’re doing the halftime show at the Super Bowl?!?!” and the pair jumping around in their familiar puppy-dog fashion.

The two were on the set of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Timberlake tagged the show and the game in his tweet. The Super Bowl is scheduled to be broadcast on NBC, thus the future synergy between Timberlake, his halftime show and the American football game is obviously in the works.

Timberlake’s return to the NFL stage is a significant one, considering that the so-called “wardrobe malfunction” (nicknamed “Nipplegate”) during his 2004 performance with Janet Jackson raised the ire of the league and TV viewers, and spurred a crackdown by the FCC on objectionable broadcast material.

Despite the furor around that appearance, it doesn’t seem completely unlikely that Jackson could make a surprise appearance during Timberlake's 2018 comeback. Timberlake is also expected to release a new album in the first quarter of the new year, say sources.

With Katy Perry, Beyonce, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Madonna, and the Black Eyed Peas as the past few performers, Super Bowl halftime sets have skewed toward the pop realm in recent years, largely out of necessity. The classic rockers who were once a hallmark of the halftime show for years included the Rolling Stones, U2, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty.

But with Timberlake’s comedic ability, his spot could well go beyond a straight musical performance. – Reuters


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