While football fans everywhere are eager to find out if the Philadelphia Eagles or the New England Patriots will reign supreme at the Super Bowl, pop culture aficionados have more pressing matters to focus their attention on, like Justin Timberlake‘s highly anticipated halftime performance.
As is the case each year, the NFL is keeping mum on details related to its entertainment acts, but that doesn’t have fans (or Timberlake) feeling any less hyped for what’s to come.
Here’s what we know so far about the “Filthy” crooner’s performance:
1. This will be the third time he’s hitting the Super Bowl stage.
This will be the third time Timberlake has performed at the famous championship game. In addition to the 2004 set, he and ‘NSYNC joined a star-studded lineup (including Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly) to sing their classic hits “Bye Bye Bye” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.”
2. It won’t be controversial like his and Janet Jackson‘s 2004 Super Bowl debacle.
Fourteen years ago, the singer took the stage with Jackson to perform his hit “Rock Your Body.” Memorably, at the end of the sexy track’s closing lyrics — “I bet I’ll have you naked by the end of this song” — Timberlake went to remove Jackson’s corset and accidentally tore off her bra too, exposing her bare breast.
Controversy ensued, Timberlake and Jackson issued apologies, and the Federal Communications Commission charged CBS, the network that broadcast the game that year, with a $ 550,000 indecency fine for the incident, dubbed “Nipplegate.”
“To be honest, it wasn’t too much of a conversation,” he told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe of addressing the controversial moment before hitting the stage once more on Super Bowl Sunday. “It’s just one of those things where you go, ‘Yeah what do you want me to say? We’re not going to do that again.’”
3. ‘NSYNC will most likely not reunite on Super Bowl Sunday.
Sad news for ‘NYSYNC fans hoping for a Super Bowl reunion: Joey Fatone appeared to shut down rumors of a regrouping when TMZ caught up with the former band mate. (JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick and Lance Bass round out the famous fivesome.)
“I’m here right now — if I was doing something, I’d be at rehearsals right now, so obviously there’s your proof: nothing,” Fatone told TMZ of the potential ‘NSYNC reunion. “There’s nothing wrong with that! He’s doing his thing!”
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4. … and the same thing can be said about a surprise Janet Jackson appearance.
If you take Fatone’s word on it, that is. “He’s not that kind of person,” Fatone said. “He’s not controversial like that. He is in a sense, but not in a sense to do it deliberately.”
5. He’s stretching and rehearsing like no other.
We can hardly wait for what’s to come.
6. He won’t have a special guest joining him on the stage.
“Well … no,” he admitted during the Super Bowl LII press conference. “To be honest, I had a ton of grand ideas about special guests. There’s a whole list. I think Vegas has a lot of odds on it, from ‘NSYNC to Jay to Chris Stapleton to Janet.” Instead, he says he wants to shine the spotlight on his trusty longtime band, the Tennessee Kids. “I feel like they’re my special guests and I’m excited to rock the stage.”
7. He will be playing ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ during the halftime show.
Timberlake — who revealed he’s “doing a few things with this halftime show they’ve never quite done before” — confirmed that he’ll play his Oscar-nominated smash “Can’t Stop the Feeling” but warned, “That’s all I am giving away! I’m not giving away anything else, so don’t even try it.”
8. He’ll be wearing custom Stella McCartney.
Talk about a dapper guy! Timberlake will hit the Super Bowl halftime show stage in custom Stella McCartney. The designer and singer drew inspiration from his album, Man of the Woods, for the final look.
Super Bowl LII will be played Sunday, Feb. 4 at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota and will air live on NBC.
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