The pop star issued a statement via social media clarifying that she will not performing. It reads, “To put to rest any speculation or rumors as to whether I will be performing at the Super Bowl tomorrow; I will not.” She thanked her fans for their support and added that she is looking forward to “seeing you all very soon.”
Speculation that Jackson may make an appearance began as soon as Timberlake’s selection for the halftime show was announced, with many expressing outrage that he was brought back after 2004’s “wardrobe malfunction,” in which Timberlake caused co-performer Jackson’s top to rip, exposing the majority of her breast.
The Jackson rumors weren’t the only ones in the mix: TMZ reported that a hologram of Prince was going to appear during Timberlake’s show, though Prince’s close friend and collaborator Sheila E has promised that will not happen.
Jackson’s announcement added momentum to the already-planned #JanetJacksonAppreciationDay hashtag on Twitter, which was first proposed Feb. 2 by user @MatthewACherry. Jackson’s fans have taken to the platform to pointedly express their support of the superstar. Several referred to the hashtag and its timing as “petty,” but with the positive connotation the phrase has taken on across the Internet.
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) February 2, 2018
— Toi Poetic Beauty (@ToiPoetic) February 4, 2018
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) February 4, 2018
— BRATZ💫 (@kai_saidthat) February 4, 2018
She gave rhythm to a nation
She made you realize that you don’t know what you got until it’s gone
She took CONTROL!
— The Root (@TheRoot) February 4, 2018
Janet Jackson has long been an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ folks, but my favorite factoid about her is that "Together Again" was written in memory of a friend who died of AIDS.#JanetJacksonAppreciationDay
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) February 4, 2018
— Tamron Hall (@tamronhall) February 4, 2018