Prince will not be performing at the Super Bowl. After reports surfaced that the late “Purple Rain” singer was slated to appear posthumously via a hologram during Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime show, fans were furious. But no one was more on top of it than Sheila E., Prince’s longtime drummer and loyal friend.
After rumors surfaced that a Prince hologram was in the works as part of a Timberlake tribute to the late singer, a fired up Sheila E. took to Twitter to denounce the idea. Sheila revealed that Prince once told her to make sure that she never let anyone do a hologram of him.
“Prince told me don’t ever let anyone do a hologram of me. Not cool if this happens!” Sheila E. tweeted.
Sheila E. didn’t waste any time keeping her promise to Prince. Prince’s longtime friend and collaborator promptly got a hold of Justin Timberlake to let him know that a Prince hologram simply cannot happen. Sheila E. later confirmed to fans that a Prince hologram would not be a part of Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime show. Sheila E. later wrote the following.
“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.”
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
Prince fans know that the late singer was not a fan of holograms. According to The Fader, Prince once said he considered the idea of digitally edited performances through holograms to be “demonic.”
“That’s the most demonic thing imaginable,” Prince told Guitar World, according to The Fader. “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.”
Prince was lucky to have friends like Sheila E. in his life. It is clear that Sheila will do everything she can to make sure Prince’s wishes are upheld. “The Glamorous Life” singer has been staunchly loyal to Prince and his memory ever since his sudden and shocking death in April 2016.
Months after Prince’s death, Sheila E. gave him a proper tribute with a performance at the BET Awards. Sheila was accompanied by the Time’s Jerome Benton and Prince’s ex-wife, dancer Mayte Garcia, for a supersized tribute which included a medley of Prince-penned hits like “Erotic City,” “Let’s Work,” and “Baby, I’m a Star.”
Prince previously performed a blistering set at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2007. If Sheila E. has her way, he will never be seen at the Super Bowl again.
You can see Prince’s iconic 2007 Super Bowl performance below.