Justin Timberlake will headline Super Bowl 52 in February next year, more than a decade after he was at the center of the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” at the halftime show in 2004.
Timberlake announced his performance in a playful video short with comedian Jimmy Fallon on Sunday night. The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter later spoke during the halftime on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
“Immediately, I was excited. It’s a huge moment so I was very excited,” Timberlake told the host.
Timberlake has lately transitioned to acting, the New York Times reported. But he recently churned out another hit with “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” a song for the “Trolls” animated movie in which he voiced the character of Branch.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) October 23, 2017
Timberlake, 36, performed at two Super Bowl halftime shows in 2002 and 2004. His headliner on Feb. 4 next year will distinguish him as the musician with the most appearances during the halftime show.
According to the NFL, the halftime show is the most-watched musical event of the year. Last year’s halftime show reached 150 million unique viewers, becoming the most-watched musical event of all time.
Timberlake’s 2004 appearance at the halftime was tainted by the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” incident in which he tore off part of Janet Jackson’s outfit.
The mishap caused outrage among the viewers and resulted in a sizable $550,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission. The fine was later dropped in an appeals court. Live broadcasts were adjusted to run with a slight delay to prevent future accidents of this kind.
Asked if the NFL brought up the incident in the contract negotiation, Timberlake told CBS: “That won’t happen this time. There was a little bit of that.”
Timberlake rose to stardom as a member of the NSYNC boy band. He said he has watched tapes of previous acts to prepare for the big day.
“What I really want to do is take the opportunity to put together a performance that feels like it unifies,” he said.
Pepsi is the official sponsor of the Super Bowl 52 Halftime Show. The segment will run 12 minutes, giving Timberlake ample time to perform up to a dozen abridged versions of his songs.
The choice of Timberlake continues an NFL trend of choosing acts that appeal to younger audiences over older acts that may be safer. Recent headliners included Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Missy Elliott, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Destiny’s Child.