Justin Timberlake Assures a Wardrobe Malfunction ‘Won’t Happen’ at Super Bowl 2018 After Janet Jackson Incident


Justin Timberlake will return to the Super Bowl stage in February 2018 for a record-breaking third time, and he assured fans in a new interview that there won’t be another wardrobe malfunction.

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Justin Timberlake attends Variety’s Celebratory Brunch Event for Awards Nominees, benefitting Motion Picture Television Fund, at Cecconi’s in West Hollywood on January 28, 2017. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

“That won’t happen this time,” the 10-time Grammy winner, 36, told NBC Sports anchor Mike Tirico with a laugh during a halftime appearance on Sunday Night Football on October 22. “There was a little bit of that [discussion]. But no, Mike, that’s not going to happen.”

Us Weekly exclusively revealed on September 27 that Timberlake was finalizing a deal to headline the Super Bowl LII halftime show at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota. He confirmed the news himself on Sunday night with a promo video costarring his pal Jimmy Fallon. Timberlake last performed at the annual football event in 2004, when he birthed the term “nipplegate” after accidentally exposing fellow performer Janet Jackson‘s breast on stage. The controversial incident led the FCC to implement a five-second broadcast delay during live performances, and many radio stations and TV networks blacklisted Jackson’s subsequent singles and music videos.

Now, the “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” singer is ready for redemption. “I immediately was excited [when the NFL called],” he explained. “It’s a huge moment, so I was very excited.”

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Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII at Reliant Stadium in Houston on February 1, 2004. Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

And Timberlake is already brainstorming ideas. “I’ve watched a ton of [previous halftime shows] just to make sure that we’re not pulling out any gags,” he said. “People are flying, and Lady Gaga jumped from the top of the stadium or something [this February]. I don’t know, man. I’m 36 now. I don’t know how much of that I can do anymore.”

The former ‘NSync frontman (who also performed at the 2001 Super Bowl with the boy band, Aerosmith and his ex Britney Spears) already has a few goals in mind too. “What I really want to do is take the opportunity to put together a performance that feels like it unifies,” he explained. “I feel like that would be the ultimate accomplishment, and then the icing on the cake is at some point within that 12 minutes, everybody is shaking their booty. I have a goal to make Al Michaels dance. So Al Michaels, if we can get you to shake your booty at the Super Bowl halftime show. By the way, we can start that hashtag: #AlMichaelsShakeYourBooty. That would be the icing on the cake. So, unity, Al Michaels dancing. What a time to be alive!”

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