Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl LII halftime show gave a lot of people a lot of feels. But when he pulled out his surprise tribute to Prince with a performance of “I Would Die 4 U” featuring a giant projected image of Minneapolis’ finest towering over the U.S. Bank Stadium field, some Princeophiles were rattled, afraid that their patron purple saint might have not approved.
After all, according to legend, the two had beef in life, with Prince dinging JT over his hit “SexyBack” with a quip about how sexy never left and Justin smacking back on “Give It To Me” with the line “Now if sexy never left, then why is everybody on my shit/ Don’t hate on me just because you didn’t come up with it.” It also didn’t help that Prince had stomped on the idea of using technology to duet with dead pop stars calling it the “most demonic thing imaginable.”
Despite all that, Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, told TMZ on Monday (Feb. 5) that she thinks her brother would have actually been fine with Timberlake’s tribute. Nelson reportedly told the site that she was “pleasantly surprised” by JT’s performance and enjoyed the tribute to her late brother, though the family was not previously aware that Prince would appear via a large video projection.
Nelson said everyone is welcome to their own opinion on what Prince would have wanted — an impossible situation for Justin — but one thing she knows is that her sibling didn’t hold grudges. As he would have put it, “He said what he said and kept it moving.”