It’s official. Justin Timberlake is going to the Super Bowl. The pop superstar has confirmed reports that he will be performing at next year’s halftime show.
Timberlake announced the big news with a short skit featuring Jimmy Fallon. “Excuse me, sir,” he asks the late night host. “Do you have the time?” The guys go back and forth, saying, “I do have time,” until it sounds like, “I do half time.” Finally, the news is confirmed. “I’m doing the halftime show!”
“I DO have the time,” Timberlake captioned the clip. “Half the time.”
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) October 23, 2017
The decision has been met with excitement and criticism. Thirteen years ago, Timberlake was part of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” moment at the Super Bowl, which has since been dubbed “Nipplegate.” During the set, Timberlake ripped off a piece of Jackson’s ensemble, revealing her right breast. The event resulted in the Federal Communications Commission creating a five-second delay on live performances.
After the incident, Jackson was criticized more heavily than Timberlake, a fact that he lamented during a later interview with MTV. “It’s an understatement to say that it was sort of unfair,” he explained. “If you consider it 50/50, I probably got 10 percent of the blame. That, I think, says something about society. America is harsher on women. America is unfairly harsh on ethnic people. At the time it was happening, it was so crazy to me, that I didn’t handle it the best way I could have.”
JAY-Z — a frequent Timberlake collaborator — was also rumored to be a performer at this season’s Super Bowl, but it’s been reported that he declined the offer in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who recently filed a lawsuit again NFL owners, accusing them of colluding against his hiring due to his protest of police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem.
Timberlake follows Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, and Coldplay, who have performed at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in recent years.
The Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show will take place Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.