The Super Bowl stage is all set for Justin Timberlake, and the 37-year-old has been hard at work rehearsing for his highly anticipated Pepsi Halftime Show performance Sunday night. Before the big performance happens, Timberlake is getting fans extra amped for the show by releasing his fifth studio album, Man of the Woods, on Friday and will celebrate the big release Thursday night (Feb. 1) with a party at Prince’s famed Minneapolis estate, Paisley Park — an event that has been met with some backlash.
Prince fans expressed their concerns over a party happening in the late legend’s hallowed halls, with alcohol being served at the event both presenting a potential for spills on memorabilia as well as going against Prince’s no-drinking stance. But when Timberlake was asked about Prince at the official Pepsi Halftime Show press conference Thursday afternoon, he had nothing but respect and gratitude for the late pop star and his estate.
“The estate that manages his godliness was nice enough — we’re doing a listening party tonight at Paisley Park. I’m pinching [myself],” the “Filthy” singer told press. “There’s a lot of bucket list things that are happening this week for me, and that’s definitely at the top of the list as well. I get to come back and be onstage at the Super Bowl, but to top it off I get to walk the hallowed, sacred ground of Paisley Park tonight and get to play my new album. That didn’t even seem like a possibility to me a year ago.”
Timberlake didn’t address the backlash over the party’s location (nor was he asked to) but was visibly amazed that he was given permission to host his album-release event in Prince’s home. More over, he touched on the influence Prince had on his own music, calling The Purple One the “greatest all-around musician” in popular culture.
“It seems maybe braggadocious to say, but the time that I got to spend around him, with him, talking about music — those are memories that I’ll take with me forever, because he’s always been such a big idol of mine,” Timberlake added. “It feels nice to be here.”
Man of the Woods will be available at midnight.