As previously reported, JT performed Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” with a giant projection of the artist on a large billowing sheet behind the stage. (Watch above.) This method was apparently chosen after Sheila E shut down his original plan to perform with a Prince hologram.
In a 1998 interview with Guitar World magazine, Prince was asked directly about the use of digital editing to “create a situation where you could jam with any artist from the past.” He was unequivocally against it.
“That’s the most demonic thing imaginable,” he said. “Everything is as it is, and it should be. If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age. That whole virtual reality thing … it really is demonic. And I am not a demon. Also, what they did with that Beatles song (Free As A Bird), manipulating John Lennon’s voice to have him singing from across the grave … that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.”
Many fans thought JT’s projection of Prince on the sheet was too close to the hologram concept that Prince clearly hated and took to social media with their disapproval.
Jemele Hill, formerly of ESPN and now senior correspondent at The Undefeated, tweeted a GIF of Prince expressing befuddlement.
Sinbad also took to social media with more details about Prince’s original beef with JT, which started with JT’s 2006 release of “Sexy Back.”
At the time, Prince joked that sexy never left. Timberlake responded with a verse in “Give It To Me” in which he said to Prince, “Don’t hate on me just because you didn’t come up with it.” Later, Timberlake mocked Prince’s hight by lowering the mic stand to accept an award on his behalf at the Golden Globes.
Watch Sinbad detail these events in the video below.
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(Photo Credit: richard shotwell / PR Photos)