When word began to spread that Justin Timberlake's Super Bowl halftime performance would include a hologram of Prince, the late singer's family quickly jumped in to say it wasn't true. The conflicting reports can't come to a consensus, as an NFL source told the Star Tribune that the hologram will definitely be a part of the show as of Saturday night.
The insider at the Tribune said that the hologram was on stage for a rehearsal on Friday night. They told reporters that the projection of Prince would go on, despite so many reports to the contrary from his friends and family.
Prince's longtime drummer and friend, Sheila E., has been one of the firmest voices claiming that the performance won't happen.
"Family, I spoke w/Justin 2nite and he shared heartfelt words of respect for Prince & the Purple fans," she wrote on Friday night. "I look 4wrd 2 seeing what I'm sure is going 2 be a spectacular halftime show. There is no hologram."
Family, I spoke w/Justin 2nite and he shared heartfelt words of respect for Prince & the Purple fans. I look 4wrd 2 seeing what I’m sure is going 2 be a spectacular halftime show. There is no hologram. 🙏🏽💋 pic.twitter.com/mhVXBfBa1B— SheilaEdrummer (@SheilaEdrummer) February 4, 2018
Sheila is one of many Prince associates who say he would never have wanted to be made into a hologram. According to Sheila, he specifically told her at one point not to let it happen.
"Prince told me don't ever let anyone do a hologram of me. Not cool if this happens!" she wrote on Twitter.
Prince told me don’t ever let anyone do a hologram of me. Not cool if this happens! https://t.co/khtCjXr2mY— SheilaEdrummer (@SheilaEdrummer) February 3, 2018
Many have also pointed out that Prince objected to this kind of posthumous collaboration in a 1998 interview in Guitar World. When the interviewer pointed out that digital editing could allow Prince to jam with any artist he wanted, and asked if there was anyone from the past he'd like to work with, the singer took a hard stance.
"Certainly not," he said. "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. 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."0comments
Still, according to the Tribune an NFL insider has seen the hologram, and says it will be on stage on Sunday night.
The contradictory reports are coming at the same time and presumably from the same rehearsal space, so it seems impossible to know for sure until Timberlake takes the stage without Prince.