Sports fans or not, the Super Bowl brings stars from every aspect of entertainment to the hosting city. This year’s Super Bowl LII was no different, and despite the freezing conditions, Minneapolis saw singers, actors, social media stars and athletes of all kinds paying a visit to the city for the big game.
Part of the pre-game celebrations took place at The Armory just down the street from U.S. Bank Stadium from Thursday (Feb. 1) to Saturday (Feb. 2). When P!nk and Jennifer Lopez headlined Friday and Saturday nights (respectively), Billboard had a chance to chat with some of the famous attendees about their favorite halftime show performance and Justin Timberlake song ahead of his highly anticipated show.
Sheila E., drummer and singer
Halftime show: Prince and “Purple Rain.” That would be the obvious, right? It really was the most incredible halftime show, I think. It was something that he always wanted to do, to play the Super Bowl halftime. He was very excited about it.
JT song: I haven’t heard the new album, but I liked the last album that he did. I’m anxious to see what he’s going to do, it’s all so synchronized, I’m excited to see what’s going to happen.
Miles Teller, actor (Whiplash)
Halftime show: Prince. It was in the rain, and he was playing “Purple Rain.” And it’s Prince — as far as live performances go, it’s hard to get much better.
JT song: I’ll admit, I like that 20/20 tour he did with the Tennessee Kids. When Justin drops the beat, and he does the breakdown, I think he does that better than anybody. That guy’s been around my whole life — when he started out in *NSYNC, all the girls were into the boy bands and I’m like “Hey, we’re cool too, us civilian guys.” But I’ve become such a fan of him, he pretty much can do anything. I like the song “Drink You Away,” it’s really tight. I also moved to Florida when I was 12, so the Southeast Memphis kind of stuff I dig.
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins catcher
Halftime show: I’m looking forward to the show, it’ll remind me of all the hits he’s had. I have twin daughters, so right now it’s probably “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls — that’s the most played in our house.
JT song: I actually was there down in Florida when Prince did “Purple Rain” in the rain. He was out there with the guitar goin’, it was absolutely awesome.
Kelsea Ballerini, country singer
Halftime show: I think Gaga was iconic last year. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but the moment of Janet and Justin. I’m hoping that there’s something tomorrow that odes it.
JT song: “Cry Me a River.” I’ve always loved it, I feel like it’s a classic. We just re-did our show because I start tour in a couple weeks, and it’s mashed up with one of my songs because I love it so much.
Morgan Evans, country singer
Halftime show: I think Bruno set the standard for Super Bowls — that drum solo at the start that he did. I think he’s unbeatable, but if anyone could do it, it could be this year.
JT song: All of ‘em. [Pointing to Ballerini and laughing] She plays everything around the house.
Will Sasso, comedian
Halftime show: The Prince one was the most incredible one. Did I imagine that Katy Perry did a halftime show or did that actually happen? Were there giant sharks or did I dream that? That actually happened? Then I’m sorry, Prince, that was better — whatever’s the bigger spectacle. Can’t wait to see who Justin Timberlake rips clothes off this time. Maybe Justin Timberlake will rip a chest plate off a dolphin or shark or something — you can’t do that nowadays.
JT song: The song he sings directly about Britney Spears — “Cry Me a River,” that’s a really good song. I just like how raw he got. That probably came out during her little dip, and it kicked her right in the booty. Actually, I don’t really like that song, it was kinda mean. “Suit & Tie” is sweet, it’s about wearing clothes, that’s something everyone can relate to. “Welcome to the Jungle” was a big one for him, I really liked that. “Father and Son,” that was a good one. “Sweet Child Of Mine,” “Hotel California” — some of my favorite Justin Timberlake songs.
Case Keenum, Minnesota Vikings quarterback
Halftime show: Bruno Mars and Beyonce just killed it. [Bruno’s] just talented — to be on a big stage like that in a concert on a field where you’re so far away from the fans, to still be able to wow with all the little moves he does. The doo-wop crew he has is fun to watch. They keep topping each other, so I’m excited about this one.
JT song: I like his new [Chris] Stapleton song, “Say Something.” He got the acoustic in there, it’s cool. I love it.
Dascha Polanco, actress (Orange is the New Black)
Halftime show: I loved Beyonce’s performance because it was so powerful. But I also loved Missy Elliott — it brought me back to the ‘90s. Lady Gaga’s… so basically, my favorite part of the Super Bowl, even though I love football, is halftime [Laughs].
JT song: “Cry Me A River.” We were just having this conversation that we love when he goes into his feelings and he’s passionate, because he’s so talented. I love his curly hair too.
Derek Hough, five-time Dancing With the Stars champion
Halftime show: We are in Minneapolis, and I will say Prince is definitely a huge standout. When he had the guitar doing the solo, the fabric blowing up and you just saw his silhouette — I’ll never forget that moment. That man was an absolute musical legend.
JT song: I don’t know, there’s so many! He’s also a pop legend. He’s going to blow it out of the water, I have the utmost confidence in that.