In Depth

Justin Timberlake steals the Super Bowl halftime show

Singer paid spectacular tribute to Prince and posed for mid-show selfie with lucky teen

The Philadelphia Eagles might have beat the odds to notch up their first-ever Super Bowl victory last night - but the real stars of the show were Justin Timberlake, Prince and a 13-year-old boy.

The 37-year-old singer’s halftime show set got millions of TV viewers talking - and unlike his last Super Bowl appearance, it was for all the right reasons. His 2004 performance with Janet Jackson went down in pop-culture history after the latter’s “wardrobe malfunction”.

This time around, Timberlake wowed 66,000 spectators at Minneapolis’ US Bank Stadium and millions watching at home with a spectacular light show in tribute to their hometown hero, Prince.

Timberlake performed Prince’s I Would Die 4 U, accompanied by a projection of the legendary artist, who died in April 2016.

“An overhead shot showed the arena was covered in purple lighting that morphed into Prince's trademark symbol in a touching tribute,” says Rolling Stone.

But while JT thrilled fans with a medley of old school hits, including Cry Me A River, Rock Your Body and SexyBack, his 12-minute set was almost upstaged by a teenager.

A 13-year-old Massachusetts schoolboy, identified as Ryan, was beamed into millions of homes standing inches from Timberlake but apparently transfixed by his phone.

The moment quickly went viral, as Twitter users speculated what was keeping the teenager so preoccupied:

However, Ryan told ABC News that he had been experiencing technical difficulties. “At first I tried to get a selfie with him, and my phone died, and then it turned back on,” he said.

Ryan eventually succeeded, bagging a once-in-a-lifetime snap of himself alongside Timberlake:

“Everyone in my row was telling me I was all over Twitter and stuff and my phone exploded,” he said. “I've probably gotten like 45-50 calls in like the last 20 minutes.”

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