If you are going to conjure up the spectre of Prince during a Super Bowl halftime performance, you better serve the iconic showman's memory well. That is the sentiment of Super Bowl viewers of Justin Timberlake's show during Super Bowl LII last night (4 February).
Timberlake played his hits during a rapid-fire medley, including Rock Your Body, SexyBack, Cry Me a River and Senorita. But it was his 'duet' with a towering projection of Prince, singing I Would Die 4 U, that proved the most controversial part of the show.
The tribute to Prince, in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, was controversial due to comments the late artist made in an interview in 1998 when asked if he would perform with the hologram of a dead artist.
"That's the most demonic thing imaginable," he told Guitar World. "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."
Viewers reacted in their droves on Twitter, with one user saying: "Wow its wild Justin Timberlake did a tribute to Prince considering Prince hated him and literally wrote a song about how awful he was."
"Hologram/Projection. Same f**king difference! The point was Prince did not want his image, voice, performances ever used in duets after his [death] EVER! What aren't you guys understanding?! IT WAS WRONG! And Justin Timberlake owes an APOLOGY," wrote another.
Disgruntled viewer Sliogan added:
Comedian David Adkins, known by his stage name Sinbad, did not hold back: "Okay punkass Justin Timberlake. You was cool till you pulled that Prince bulls**t. You dissed Prince on a track of yours and you dissed him onstage when you lowered the mic stand onstage when prince won an award. Later for ya ass."