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Super Bowl National Anthem and Halftime Show Recap

P!nk kicked off the Super Bowl with the National Anthem and Justin Timberlake provided the halftime entertainment. When P!nk, the Super Bowl national anthem performer, learned that the Eagles would be playing in the big game this year, she couldn’t believe her good fortune. Then, the Philadelphia native had some bad luck. On Saturday, she posted on Instagram that she was struggling with the flu. “I’ve been waiting to sing this song since 1991 when I saw my idol, Whitney Houston, own this song. And now, my chance has finally come,” she wrote. “And it just so happens that this chance comes when I have two small Petri dish kids who literally cough INTO MY MOUTH and rub their snot on my cheek. You can’t write this stuff I swear!”

Justin Timberlake headlined the halftime performance, delivering a high-energy medley of his classic hits, including “Cry Me A River,” and “Mirrors,” along with newer songs like “Can’t Stop The Feeling” and “Filthy,” which is off his newly released Man of the Woods album.

He opened the 13-minute set flanked by laser lights and dancing with fans backstage. Timberlake danced onto the field for “Suit & Tie” and a medley of slow jams, which featured him playing the piano for “Until the End of Time.” Since the show was in Minneapolis, Timberlake also sang Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” in front of a projection of Prince as a pseudo-duet. An overhead shot showed the arena was covered in purple lighting that morphed into Prince’s trademark symbol in a touching tribute.

Timberlake then delivered a handclap-buoyed “Mirrors” and “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” which included the singer scaling stairs in the venue to greet the audience. Dancers dressed in colorful outfits kept the energy up on the field, concluding the halftime.

Timberlake’s set marked his record-setting third time playing the Super Bowl, following appearances at Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVII. The latter performance, in 2004, became infamous when Janet Jackson joined the singer onstage and Timberlake, during a rendition of “Rock Your Body,” reached and pulled off a piece of Jackson’s bustier, exposing her breast.

One of the best moments was when one lucky kid got a couple of selfies with Timberlake at the end of the performance. The young man has been deemed “Selfie Kid” online and he has shared his photo. Selfie Kid got to dance with Justin, take a selfie with him, and will also appear on Good Morning America today. “Super Bowl selfies,” Justin said after the pictures were taken.

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