Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson enjoyed Justin Timberlake’s controversial Super Bowl tribute to her late brother.
Justin sung Prince’s track I Would Die 4 You alongside a giant projection of the musical legend during his 14-minute Half-Time Show in Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium.
However, his tribute to the Minnesota singer, who died in 2016, was controversial – as during his lifetime Prince had criticised Justin’s music while also expressing an antipathy to hologram projections.
Following the show, Tyka told TMZ.com that she was “pleasantly surprised” by Justin’s performance and “even enjoyed” the Prince tribute, the gossip website reported. According to the site, she and her family knew he would sing I Would Die 4 You but did not know about the giant projection.
Tyka added that her brother liked being outspoken but never held a grudge and would’ve approved of the gig, telling TMZ: “He said what he said and kept it moving.”
Before Justin’s Super Bowl gig it was rumoured that he’d perform with a hologram depicting Prince, however the Purple Rain’s ex-bandmate Sheila E denied this, writing on Twitter, “There is no hologram.”
Sheila, who was at the game, also praised Justin’s performance and criticised those slamming Justin, saying in a Facebook video, saying, “What seems to be all too common in our society, we were led down a path of division, anger and anxiety instead of what should have been a time of joy and celebration of the life and the music of my dear friend Prince.”
She also apologised for causing a distraction by talking about the possibility of Justin using a hologram before the show, which came in the middle of the Philadelphia Eagles’ victory over the New England Patriots.
In a 1998 interview with Guitar World, Prince criticised the idea of performing with dead artists like John Lennon.
“That’s the most demonic thing imaginable,” he said. “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. “