Photo by Amanda Koellner
Reports trickled in last month that Justin Timberlake was in negotiations to headline the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show. Today, the pop superstar confirmed that he will indeed take the stage during the NFL’s biggest game.
To announce the booking, Timberlake enlisted the help of his friend Jimmy Fallon. In a tweeted video, the goofy pair acted out a little skit where they asked each other if they “have time.” The NFL’s official Twitter account later confirmed the news.
Of course, Timberlake previously played the Big Game in 2004, a performance that has gone down in infamy for coining the phrase “wardrobe malfunction.” Performing with Janet Jackson, Timberlake “accidentally” removed a piece of his fellow pop star’s top, revealing her bare breast and pierced nipple during the live broadcast. The fallout led to the FCC fining CBS $550,000 and ruling that the Super Bowl would theretofore be aired on a five-second delay.
While Timberlake’s career continued to flourish, many see the incident as as the moment Jackson’s musical dominance began to disappear. Producers of the halftime show stayed away from booking youthful acts in the ensuing years, preferring safer legacy musicians like Paul McCartney, The Who, The Rolling Stones, and Tom Petty. With performers like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay playing the halftime show over the last two years, it seems the event’s return to pop has come full circle with Timberlake’s comeback.
Super Bowl LII will take place February 4th, 2018 in Minnesota. We’ll have to wait and see if Timberlake will forgo bringing along a special guest this time — or if he’ll perhaps find a way to make things up to Ms. Jackson.