Timberlake opened the halftime set with “Filthy,” lifted from his just-released new album Man of the Woods, before segueing into fan favorites “Rock Your Body,” the song that caused controversy at the Super Bowl 2004 halftime show when Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast, and “Senorita.”
The former boy band singer also performed “SexyBack,” “My Love,” “Cry Me A River,” “Suit & Tie,” "Until the End of Time,” “Mirrors,” and closed with “Can't Stop the Feeling!”
Reaction to Timberlake’s halftime set was mixed. Newsweek’s deputy culture editor Dante A. Ciampaglia took exception with the singer’s “tasteless” homage to Prince.
The BBC said that Timberlake’s career-spanning medley at the MTV Video Music Awards—which did feature a guest spot from his fellow *NSYNC bandmates—was better than his Super Bowl set, calling that performance “a masterclass in stagecraft and charisma.”
Billboard said Timberlake’s performance was largely controversy-free, save for his outfit choice. “The most obviously tacky part of Timberlake's performance was his suit, a woodsy camo-like print getup—unappealing, but forgivable,” said the magazine.
Since his headline slot aired Sunday night, two Timberlake tracks have rocketed up the iTunes singles chart: “Say Something” featuring country star Chris Stapleton is No. 1, followed by “Filthy” at No. 7. Timberlake’s Man of the Woods album is also No. 1 on the iTunes album chart.