Justin Timberlake Opens Up About Infamous Janet Jackson Superbowl Performance

Janet and Justin performing

It's no secret that the Super Bowl is the biggest TV event of the year. Millions upon millions tune in to watch the Big Game with their loved ones, and snack until the game is called. For those less interested in sports, the halftime show proves to be a highlight of the night, alongside the various commercials. Each year's halftime show is a national event of its own, and perhaps no Super Bowl show is quite as controversial and iconic as Janet Jackson's 2004 performance. Toward the end of Janet's set, she sang alongside Justin Timberlake, when the infamous #nipplegate happened. Now Timberlake has spoken up about the aftermath, albeit a bit vaguely.

I stumbled through it. To be quite honest, I had my wires crossed. It's just something that you have to look back on and go, 'OK, you can't change what's happened, but you can move forward and learn from it.'

It looks like Justin Timberlake is taking some responsibility for the infamous Super Bowl halftime show. At the time, it all but ruined the career of Janet Jackson, while the former NSYNC member was pinned with very little responsibility.

Justin Timberlake's comments from his appearance on Beats 1 Radio seem to prove how the singer/actor has continued maturing into his adulthood. While Timberlake first came into the pop culture lexicon as a dreamy teen heartthrob, he's since become quite the multifaceted entertainer. Additionally, he's settled down with wife Jessica Biel, and has even become a father in the past few years. These themes have all been promised to factor into his new album, Man of the Woods.

To refresh everyone's memory, the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show featured an energetic and intricate performance by Janet Jackson. And while she nailed her set, it ended with Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body", where he removed a panel from her costume, exposing her breast to the millions watching the show. While she was wearing a pasty and therefore didn't flash the youth of America, it was widely admonished and Janet Jackson ended up paying a multitude of fines.

As a reminder, check out a video of the performance below.

Following the massive backlash, Janet Jackson's team named the incident a "wardrobe malfunction", a term which is still used today. And while Justin Timberlake continued to grow in popularity as a solo artist, Jackson was all but blacklisted from the entertainment industry. The incident gained global attention, and greatly affected the way the halftime show was approached in future years.

While it's been well over a decade, it's nice to see both Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson so happy with their respective families. I guess Nipplegate can finally be laid to rest.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.