It looks like Justin Timberlake won’t be bringing Prince back to the halftime stage after all.
Former Prince collaborator and close friend Sheila E. denied claims that there would be a Prince hologram during Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl 52 performance. “Family, I spoke w/Justin 2nite and he shared heartfelt words of respect for Prince & the Purple fans,” she tweeted Saturday night. “There is no hologram.”
Rumors of the Prince hologram began circulating Saturday after TMZ reported it would be included in Timberlake’s halftime show. Super Bowl 52 is taking place in Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, but Sheila E.'s tweet squashes reports that a digital version of the legend will also be present. When news of the hologram initially spread, Sheila E. was one of many who expressed her discontent with the idea.
It’s unclear if there was ever really a hologram or if someone talked Justin out of it, but either way, it’s probably for the best. After the news broke, fans stormed Twitter enraged and ready to remind everyone why a Prince hologram is such a bad idea. First of all, Justin Timberlake and Prince had beef that started in 2006 and persisted for a number of reasons. Secondly, Prince would hate to have his image and art translated into a holographic form. In 1988, when asked if he would ever perform with artists from the past using digital imaging, he said “Certainly not. That's the most demonic thing imaginable. Everything is as it is, and it should be. If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age.”
Besides, in 2007, Prince already left his mark on the halftime stage with one of the best performances the Super Bowl ever hosted. Revisit that iconic show here.
Super Bowl 52 is on tonight at 5:30 p.m. ET with the Philadelphia Eagles facing off with the New England Patriots.