Justin Timberlake previews Super Bowl halftime show: No Janet Jackson
No one asked about Janet Jackson.
In a 20-minute QA with Justin Timberlake in front of more than 500 media representatives Thursday afternoon at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, no one asked him about Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction at the 2004 Super Bowl.
The news conference was to discuss Timberlake’s performance Sunday at Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium.
He said there would be no N’ Sync reunion and no Jackson, Chris Stapleton or any other special guests. Just his current band, which he called the Tennessee Kids. So much for the Las Vegas betting line speculating on guests, which the song-and-dance man mentioned.
The only sneak preview he offered was that “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” his 2016 blockbuster, will be part of the performance. Duh.
Timberlake said his goal with the halftime show is to get everyone to dance.
“That’s the greatest thing everyone can do to express joy,” he said. “I don’t want to sound like Kevin Bacon in ‘Footloose.’”
This will be Timberlake’s record third Super Bowl halftime performance. In addition to appearing with Jackson in ’04, he performed with N’ Sync in 2001, along with Aerosmith, Britney Spears and others.
He reveres Prince
With Timberlake ready to drop his next solo album, “Man of the Woods,” on Friday, he also talked about how Prince was one of his biggest influences. “In my opinion, he’s the greatest all-around musician I can think of,” he said.
On Thursday night, Timberlake will hold an exclusive listening party for his new album at Prince’s Paisley Park. The singer/actor said he was truly honored to “walk the hallowed, sacred ground of Paisley Park.”
One of the lyrics on the new album sounds as if it could have been inspired by Prince: “I love your pink/You like my purple.” When I asked Timberlake where that line came from, he politely responded: “Um, that’s none of your business, sir.”
The Grand Ballroom broke into laughter.
Many of the questions were lighthearted, if not silly. The reigning Miss America asked who inspires him (his family). One reporter conducted a round of “Happy Birthday” (JT turned 36 on Wednesday). And more than one journalist pressed Timberlake on a possible bromance with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
A Twin Cities reporter from KARE 11 asked Timberlake, who has been in town rehearsing for days, what he thought of Minnesota (his wife, Jessica Biel, is from Ely).
“Minnesotans have completely debunked the rumor that us Southerners thought Northerners weren’t as nice as us,” said the Tennessee native. “Everybody’s been great. I wish you’d turn up the heat a little bit.”
He mentioned that he dined at Manny’s. “I ate my weight in steak,” he said. “I slept for about 12 hours after that.”
And then the quipster added: “Everyone’s offered me a ’sota.’ ”
A Boston TV personality tried to get Timberlake to divulge which team he was rooting for on Sunday. After rolling his eyes, he drolly responded: “Go Pack go.”
Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719