Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles kicks off from Minnesota in just a few hours, and all weekend long, there’s been a hot debate over just how Prince will factor into the Halftime Show.
The show’s performer, Justin Timberlake, will do something. And not because he feels like he has to, but because he sees an opportunity to hitch his uneven ride, made all the more bumpier by a ridiculous new album called Man Of The Woods, on the back of Minnesota’s favorite son.
That’s partly what makes the rumor of a Prince hologram so disturbing; we don’t need a former boy band singer to remind us of Prince’s brilliance, because Prince’s brilliance is still everywhere. We see it in the purple seats of U.S. Bank Stadium, we feel it in the photos this week of our friends posing in front of First Avenue or touring Paisley Park, we hear it in pretty much every bar or club we walk into.
And we remember it on this day 11 years ago.
Prince’s still-talked-about 12-minute musical sermon at Super Bowl XLI was one for the ages. The game itself — Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 17 — was fairly forgettable, but its halftime gig was anything but.
The music, fashion, and life icon, who died in April 2016 at the age of 57, blasted out a medley of hits — “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Baby I’m a Star,” “Proud Mary,” “Best of You” — culminating in an epic performance of “Purple Rain” as actual rain fell down on Dolphin Stadium in Miami. According to reports, the game was watched by an estimated 93 million viewers, with a peak of somewhere in the neighborhood of 140 million. Pretty much all who watched, watched in awe, over both the performer and performance.
It’s still fresh. It’s still vivid. It’s still among his greatest conquests.