Justin Timberlake is about to “bring sexy back” to the Superbowl Halftime show, 13 years after he and Janet Jackson were embroiled in the infamous “nipple-gate” controversy.
A source told Us Weekly that Timberlake is currently “finalizing” a deal to be the halftime act in Minneapolis on February 4, 2018.
The last time Justin Timberlake appeared on the Superbowl stage, he performed with Janet Jackson. At the end of the performance, Justin ripped off a panel of her top to reveal her right breast and pierced nipple.
Now that Justin will most likely be “rocking his body” as the Superbowl halftime act next year, it’s easy to wonder whether he’ll invite Janet to join him. But an inside source says that probably isn’t going to happen, though there are some claims that he might perform with Jay Z.
“As of right now, it will just be Justin — no surprise performers,” the insider said.
In any case, Janet Jackson can’t perform since she was banned by the NFL after the “nipple-gate” controversy.
As Us Weekly notes, this wasn’t just a scandal — it completely rewrote the rules for live performances, introducing a mandatory five-second delay for live broadcasts.
It also caused Janet Jackson to be blacklisted from the Superbowl Halftime show.
In 2014, when TMZ asked about potential halftime acts for the following year, the NFL responded, “As for potential acts — we have only ruled out Janet Jackson.”
Janet Jackson’s career suffered afterward, as well. As KQED recalls, that year the Grammys rescinded her invite to the awards ceremony. Justin Timberlake attended and performed that night. Jackson’s music videos and music were also pulled from circulation, which led to poor sales on future albums. She eventually disappeared from the music scene for a while and briefly revived her acting career with roles in Tyler Perry movies. But she made a solid return to music in 2015 with a new album, aptly titled Unbreakable.
At 51-years-old and with a new baby in tow, she is currently on tour in the U.S.
Many of Janet’s fans believe that the “Rhythm Nation” singer faced the brunt of the backlash from the incident compared to Justin. There’s also a belief that Timberlake did not do enough to stand up for her in the aftermath.
Do you think that it’s fair Justin Timberlake gets to be the Superbowl Halftime act next year while Janet Jackson is still blacklisted? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
[Featured Images by Kevin Winter, Francois Nel/Getty Images]