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Prince fans go crazy over rumor of Super Bowl hologram

The late Minneapolis musician's image was still part of Justin Timberlake's halftime show, but not in hologram form despite earlier reports.

Super Bowl XLI Half-Time Press Conference Featuring Prince

Late musician Prince, seen here during the Super Bowl 2007 halftime press conference in Miami, appeared during Sunday's halftime show, but not as a hologram.

Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Late musician Prince, who died in 2016, has been remembered in many events this week as his home state of Minnesota prepared to host Super Bowl LII Sunday. But a rumor that he'd be resurrected as a hologram during Justin Timberlake's halftime show was not a welcome report for many fans and friends.

The hologram idea received negative online publicity. Instead, Timberlake ended up showing video of Prince while playing the piano and performing the Minneapolis musician's "I Would Die 4 U," as if the two were singing a duet.

That wasn't incredibly well-received by all fans, but at least it wasn't Timberlake's reported original plan.

TMZ reported on Saturday that "Justin does have one pretty cool trick up his sleeve -- a hologram to honor ... wait for it ... Prince, in his hometown."

Not everyone thought that was a "pretty cool trick."

Musician Sheila E., who worked closely with Prince in the 1980s, tweeted that Prince would never have approved of his image being recreated as a hologram.

Many outlets pointed to a 1998 interview Prince did with Guitar World magazine. When asked if he would ever want to participate in digital editing allowing him to "jam with any artist from the past," the Purple One made himself as clear as a Minnesota icicle.

"Certainly not," Prince is quoted as saying. "That's the most demonic thing imaginable. 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."

But before Saturday was over, Sheila E. was reporting that she'd spoken to Timberlake, and no hologram was planned.

Fans seemed relieved.

Prince, of course, rocked the Super Bowl in the pouring (purple) rain in 2007, in a performance that's still talked about today.

Janet Jackson herself tweeted that she would not be performing with Timberlake in a reunion of that notorious 2004 pairing.

In a safer homage, 100 purple-hatted dancers participated in a flash mob dance to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" in St. Paul's Rice Park on Saturday. Punch a higher floor.

Update, 5:30 p.m. PT: Added Timberlake's use of Prince video during the halftime show.