Sales were no doubt helped by Timberlake’s performance at Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4. Over one hundred million viewers tuned in to see him sing and dance his way through a medley of hits — including his latest, “Filthy” — from his 20-year music career. In one a somber moment, he played piano and sang alongside a projected film of Prince as the stadium and city glowed with purple lights, paying homage to their native icon.
Justin Timberlake Earns Fourth No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart With ‘Man of the Woods’
“We got the actual vocal stems from ‘I Would Die 4 U,’ the actual recordings, and then we got uncut footage from his performance of it in Purple Rain,” Timberlake explained.
Justin Timberlake’s “Man of the Woods” Pop-up and the Rise of Merch
“And somehow, some way, by the grace of probably Prince looking down on us, it synced up. It was like this crazy serendipitous moment. I just wanted to use that opportunity to do something special for this city, but most of all, for my favorite musician of all time.”
Justin Timberlake and Prince RELATED VIDEO: Why Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake Are Starting Sex Education Now with 2-Year-Old Son Silas
But the set was not without controversy. Rumors of a Prince hologram (since denied) enraged fans of the Purple One before the halftime show even began. In addition, Timberlake’s performance of “Rock Your Body” sparked some criticism online as it is the same song that he sang with Janet Jackson during their now infamous “nipplegate” incident at the 2004 Super Bowl. As a result, the hashtag “#JusticeForJanet” began trending during his 2018 Super Bowl set..
Justin Timberlake, Man Of The Woods, Is Still Man Of The Charts
Justin Timberlake performs at the 2018 Super Bowl Andy Lyons/Getty Man of the Woods follows 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds, and 2013’s double-barreled The 20/20 Experience Parts One and Two to the top of the charts. Timberlake’s solo debut, Justified, just barely fell short at No. 2 in 2002.
So far, 2018 is proving to be a pretty good one for Justin Timberlake. You’d think performing at the Super Bowl halftime show would be the peak of most artists’ years, but snagging your fourth consecutive No. 1 album just over a week later isn’t too bad of a high point, either.
That’s what Timberlake’s Man of the Woods album has just accomplished. His fifth studio album is now sitting high atop the Billboard 200, much like the three before it did. His debut album, Justified, was the only one of his studio releases to not nab this achievement, as it hit No. 2.
Timberlake’s long-term plans are unclear. He’s a nearly 20-year staple of the entertainment industry with dozens of film and TV credits to his name. He’s won Grammys and been nominated for an Oscar, in addition to appearing in several Oscar-nominated films. He’s done two Super Bowl halftime shows. He made “Cry Me a River.” He’s good.
The dude can literally now become what everyone thought he was with the Man of the Woods imagery: a ranch-owning family man who makes music only when he feels like it. And that would be cool, too.
But if he keeps it up, it’s possible he could end up with some serious all-time Billboard 200 records and accolades on his hands.
He’s well on his way. And if not, he could go fully into the cool-dad merch racket. He’s got one foot in now, anyway.
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