So, instead of disrespecting Prince's own feelings, Timberlake instead sat before a giant screen that featured video imagery of Prince's performance, with Timberlake playing backup to his vocals for the iconic number, "I Would Die 4 U".
Timberlake responded to Prince, who once said, "For whoever is claiming they are bringing sexy back, sexy never left!" He was also known as a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, who play in the stadium hosting this year's Super Bowl.
Ahead of his performance, the burning question on everyone's mind was whether there would be appearances by his former *NSYNC bandmates - or Janet Jackson.
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"I don't know that a lot of people know that", he said.
However, Prince's close friend, Sheila E. voiced her dismay on Twitter yesterday, saying: "Prince told me don't ever let anyone do a hologram of me". "Thank you for your support and I do look forward to seeing you all very soon".
Justin Timberlake will be performing at the halftime show.
Reuters/Luke MacgregorU.S. singer Justin Timberlake arrives for the BRIT Awards, celebrating British pop music, at the O2 Arena in London.
It was a hit-heavy performance from Timberlake whose newly-released fifth solo album Man of the Woods has copped a savaging from critics, with its several released in quick succession failing to set the charts alight.