Inside Sheila E.'s Chat with Justin Timberlake Ahead of Tribute — and Why Prince Considered Holograms 'Demonic'
Sheila E. says she had a good reason for not wanting the late singer to make a cameo in Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl LII performance as a hologram
Prince’s longtime friend, collaborator and one-time fiancée Sheila E. says she had a good reason for not wanting the late singer to make a cameo in Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl LII performance as a hologram.
“I said no. I felt it was just too soon. The hologram was weird, and Prince did tell me [to] make sure ‘nobody ever does a hologram of me.’ ‘If you’re still here, make sure nobody does a hologram,'” the 60-year-old musician told Entertainment Tonight on Sunday.
“He thought it was very demonic,” she continued. “That’s his spiritual beliefs.” (Prince was a Jehovah’s Witness.)
She also revealed that Timberlake had reached out to her ahead of Sunday’s performance and that the pair “had a good conversation.”
Prince‘s family and friends were quick to shoot down reports that the late singer’s hologram would make an appearance during the Super Bowl LII halftime show.
After speaking with the “Filthy” singer, Sheila E. assured fans on Saturday that “out of respect for Prince & the Purple fans” there would be “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,” she wrote.
The “Purple Rain” singer’s family also denied it was happening on Saturday through a Twitter account managed by his brother, Omarr Baker.
In the tweet, Baker shared a no entry sign along with “#PrinceHologram” and when a fan asked him, “Does this mean you didn’t authorize it or that it’s not happening?” Baker responded with, “Both.”
Following Timberlake’s performance, Baker clarified that although the Man of the Woods singer utilized projections of Prince, they were not holograms — a fact he illustrated by sharing the definition of what a hologram is.
He also added that he thought Timberlake had done a good job at honoring Prince’s memory.
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During the tribute, footage of Prince projected behind Timberlake as he sang the late icon’s song “I Would Die 4 U” as the camera panned to the arena’s surrounding area lit up in purple.
Responding to a tweet from a fan about how it had been a “beautiful tribute,” Baker tweeted a thumbs up to the Man of the Woods singer.
Prince’s best friend Morris Day also congratulated Timberlake on his Super Bowl tribute.
“Thank you Justin Timberlake, Prince would be proud… Halftime well done!” he wrote.
Directly following the Super Bowl, the former ‘NSYNC band member told Jimmy Fallon how much it had meant to him to be able to honor Prince in his performance.
“It’s a moment for me, if I’m being quite honest, because he’s always been the pinnacle of musicianship for me,” Timberlake told Jimmy Fallon on a live taping of The Tonight Show directly following the Super Bowl. “And when we decided that [we were going to do a tribute], like the serendipity and the synergy that we would be Minneapolis, and that he’s such a special thing here aside from what he is all over the world.”
Super Bowl LII was played Sunday at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and aired live on NBC.