2018’s Super Bowl LII kicks off on Sunday, February 4, seeing the New England Patriots take on the Philadelphia Eagles in a bid to be NFL Champions. But, let’s be real here; a lot of the excitement over the Super Bowl revolves around what takes place during halftime, rather than the game itself.
The all-important halftime show is always highly anticipated and, whoever is picked to headline, you can bet it’s one of the biggest performances of their career. Over the years we’ve seen some truly memorable sets from Katy Perry (including Left Shark), Bruno Mars and Coldplay, Beyonce, Prince, and Michael Jackson.
This year, P!nk will be performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game gets underway; the singer is firmly rooting for a Patriots victory, and celebrated on social media when they got to the final. The honor of performing “America the Beautiful” goes to actor and Broadway star, Leslie Odom Jr., following in the footsteps of his fellow former Hamilton stars, Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry, and Jasmine Cephas Jones, who performed the song last year.
Then it’s over to Justin Timberlake for the halftime spectacular, which we expect to start around 8-8:30pm EST (depending on the game itself and commercial breaks). This will be Timberlake’s third Super Bowl appearance; he performed with NSync back in 2001, alongside Britney Spears, Aerosmith, and Mary J. Blige. He then returned in 2004, with Janet Jackson. Of course, that was the year of Jackson’s infamous “wardrobe malfunction”, which saw her banned from the Super Bowl for life and barred from that year’s Grammys. Meanwhile, Timberlake came out of the whole scandal completely unscathed.
So far, there are varying rumors about possible guest stars for part of Timberlake’s set, with many suggesting he won’t have any. However, a few outlets are reporting that Jackson herself may return. That seems unlikely, to say the very least, although would be an effective way to put the events of fourteen years ago firmly in the past. Another rumor is that the stage might be set for an NSync reunion; something that Joey Fatone seemed to dismiss, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
As for the content of Timberlake’s set; it seems likely to expect some of his biggest hits, including “Cry Me a River” and the smash hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” but there will undoubtedly be performances of tracks from his new album, “Man of the Woods,” too. Two tracks from it, “Filthy” and “Supplies” have already been released, and the album itself is released in its entirety on February 2nd. Just time for you to learn the words before he takes to the stage.
The Super Bowl LII airs on Sunday, February 4th, at 6:30pm EST on NBC.
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