Two years removed from officially becoming a solo act, Justin Timberlake proved he had what it takes to set a stage ablaze with his dynamic vocals and mystifying dance moves. Recognizing his talent, the NFL reached out to Timberlake and asked him to perform with Janet Jackson during the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show.
On February 1, 2014, Janet and Justin delivered on the league’s promise to provide a very memorable halftime show — unfortunately, it happened for all the wrong reasons. During Jackson’s performance with Timberlake, a “wardrobe malfunction,” resulted in Jackson’s right breast being exposed to the world.
Super Bowl XXXVIII quickly became a must-see event and arguments over the severity of the incident erupted on network and cable TV for weeks.
“Bet I have you naked by the end of this song!”
Those were the last lyrics Timberlake sang on stage during the halftime show, words that became a little bit too literal as Jackson’s bare skin became suddenly exposed to more than 140 million NFL fans. Jackson quickly covered her body and Timberlake froze in place with a stoic facial expression.
Fast forward 14 years and Timberlake may soon be gracing the Super Bowl stage for the second time.
An insider has reported that Timberlake “is finalizing” his deal to perform after Timberlake’s own Suit & Tie collaborator, Jay-Z, declined to rap at the highly watched halftime show.
The Source said Jay-Z “really has no plans to do the half-time show.” It has been speculated that his refusal to perform has to do with his support of Colin Kaepernick. Hov wasn’t the only one to turn down the performance as Adele also told the NFL she wasn’t interested in taking that particular stage.
In the initial reports of Timberlake doing the show, there were talks that he would be joined by Jay-Z but a source told US that “as of right now, it will just be Justin – no surprise performers.”
Timberlake’s ascension to superstardom has been quite remarkable since his days in ‘Nsync and a little wardrobe slip hasn’t slowed him down. The “SexyBack” singer has shown that scandal aside, he’s still a highly sought-after star who is capable of selling multi-platinum records.
Anthems And Ratings Have Taken Center Stage
With NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem and others locking arms, the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake controversy seems pretty tame by today’s standards.
The NFL has also been experiencing a drop in ratings and Timberlake has the ability to draw in millions of his own followers, a likely reason the NFL would bring him back for another attempt.
Millions of people may tune in just to see how the star will redeem himself after the wardrobe fiasco. Perhaps a surprise duet with Janet Jackson?
There’s a lot to look forward to when the 2018 Super Bowl hits the airwaves in February. Who knows, Timberlake just might surpass Lady Gaga’s 2017 performance that brought in the most halftime viewership of all time.