In the brief time since his passing, the heirs to Prince’s estate have time and time again taken actions that run contrary to the legendary musician’s wishes. His music has been made available on streaming services, his back catalog has been mined as part of an ongoing reissue campaign, and recently, the estate obtained a permit to serve alcohol at Paisley Park during Super Bowl week. (During his life, Prince was famously anti-streaming, kept his music locked away in a vault for a reason, and banned alcohol from being served at Paisley Park.)
One of the events taking place at Paisley Park during Super Bowl Week was a listening party for Justin Timberlake’s latest album, Man of the Woods. Beyond the fact that the album is a dumpster fire of epic proportions, many Prince fans took exception with the event given that it was sponsored by American Express and alcohol was served to the A-list crowd. Additionally, Timberlake and Prince briefly feuded in the mid-2000’s. During a post-Grammys party in 2006, Prince referenced Timberlake’s hit “SexyBack” by saying, “For whoever is claiming they are bringing sexy back, sexy never left!” Timberlake responded by mocking Prince’s height at another awards show, and then released a diss track in which he sang, “If sexy never left, then why’s everybody on my shit?/ Don’t hate on me just because you didn’t come up with it.”
Adding insult to injury, TMZ brings word of a gross tribute planned by Timberlake as part of his Super Bowl halftime performance tomorrow night. Specifically, Prince will be resurrected as a hologram.
Update: Prince’s longtime associate, Sheila E., says Timberlake personally assured her that there would be no hologram.
Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson previously floated the idea of a hologram, but we had hopped the family would have come to their senses. After all, Prince himself vehemently rejected such an idea when asked about it in a 1998 interview with Guitar World.
“That’s the most demonic thing imaginable,” Prince said at the time. “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. That whole virtual reality thing… it really is demonic. And I am not a demon. Also, what they did with that Beatles song [‘Free As a Bird’], manipulating John Lennon’s voice to have him singing from across the grave… that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.”
Unfortunately, it appears the color green, and not purple, is once again taking precedence.