2018 ESSENCE Festival headliner Janet Jackson is finally ending the speculation surrounding the possibility that she’ll grace the 2018 Super Bowl halftime stage with Justin Timberlake.
Timberlake was announced as this year’s Super Bowl halftime headliner back in October of 2017, and almost immediately following the news, fans began publicly questioning whether or not Ms. Jackson would also be a part of the show.
Rumors of an on-stage “reunion” between the singers stemmed from reignited outrage over the pair’s infamous 2004 Super Bowl performance that saw Timberlake expose Jackson’s nipple on live television. While the incident was ultimately dubbed a “wardrobe malfunction,” with Timberlake absolving himself of any wrongdoing, the moment resulted in major backlash and consequences for Jackson. In addition to having her music blacklisted from multiple radio stations and music channels, her invitation to perform at the 46th annual Grammy Awards was also rescinded, among other repercussions.
The negative impact the incident had on Jackson’s career thereafter, in contrast to Timberlake’s (which flourished), caused fans, critics and media across the country to adamantly suggest that Jackson should have also been invited back to perform at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. Although there’s been no official word on whether or not she was invited back, Jackson did take to Twitter to confirm whether or not it would happen.
And there you have it.
While you won’t catch the entertainment icon at the Super Bowl, you can catch her delivering an unforgettable performance at the 2018 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans this July. For information on tickets and additional details, you can visit our official ESSENCE Fest website HERE.