Justin Timberlake may put 'nipple-gate' behind him for Super Bowl return

Justin Timberlake & Janet Jackson
Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson perform at 2004 Super Bowl. Photo credit: Getty Images

Last time Justin Timberlake appeared at the Super Bowl, his performance created entertainment and sporting history for all the wrong reasons.

Fourteen years later, he's rumoured to return to the NFL showpiece next February in Minnesota.

During the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show, Timberlake was blamed for the wardrobe malfunction that exposed Janet Jackson's nipple for all the world to see and was blacklisted from the football spectacle.

The indiscretion forced a change to Federal Communications Commission regulations that now require a five-second broadcast delay for all "live" events.

But all is forgiven, it seems, with US Weekly reporting Timberlake as the frontrunner to perform at this season's climax.

"An insider reveals the 36-year-old is finalising his deal," says US Weekly. "And though reports suggested the dad of two-year-old son Silas [with wife Jessica Biel] might perform with one-time collaborator Jay-Z, the insider says, as of right now, it will just be Justin, no surprise performers."

Super Bowl is traditionally the biggest event of the US sporting calendar, with commercial spots ranking among the most sought-after real estate in advertising.

Just as popular is the half-time show that always features the world's hottest performing artists.

Lady Gaga head-lined this year's event, while Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars starred in 2016, and Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott performed in 2015.

If he is confirmed, Timberlake, who first starred in 2001, would become only the second artist to make three appearances, behind Latin superstar Gloria Estefan (1992, 95, 99).