Justin Timberlake paid tribute to the late singer Prince during the Super Bowl halftime as the crowd were lit up in purple.

With a towering projection of Prince dancing behind him, the Senorita singer sat down to a white grand piano and sang a cover of I Would Die 4 U.

There had been much speculation as to how Timberlake would pay tribute to Prince as the NFL Super Bowl came to Minneapolis, the Purple Rain singer's hometown.

The stake's were high as this year's Super Bowl LII between the New England Patriots and underdog Philadelphia Eagles was predicted to have attracted more than 110m viewers, raking in $5m every 30 seconds.

Image:Timberlake performed a tribute to Prince, whose hometown was Minneapolis, where the Super Bowl was

The crowd seemed impressed with his cover as they were bathed in purple light and a haze of smoke in tribute to Prince, who died in April 2016 of an accidental overdose.

Fans had feared a tasteless hologram of Prince performing would feature, but Timberlake kept it respectful as he settled into the iconic tune half way through his performance.

The former NSync member showed off his dancing skills as he sang his recent single Filthy during what many saw as his comeback.

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Video:Thousands celebrate Eagles' win

Timberlake also sang a medley of his best-known songs, including SexyBack, Senorita, Cry Me A River and Can't Stop The Feeling.

He previously described Prince as having a "huge influence" on him and voiced "heartfelt words of respect" for The Purple One.

Luckily, Timberlake managed to avoid any scandal following his last Super Bowl appearance in 2004 in which he swiped his hand across Janet Jackson's chest as she performed, exposing one of her breasts.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did not look happy in the Super Bowl fourth quarter
Image:Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did not look happy in the Super Bowl fourth quarter

Her nipple, covered with a metal nipple shield, was exposed to the US' biggest TV audience, prompting a $550,000 fine for broadcaster CBS for indecency.

There was much anticipation over Jackson joining Timberlake on stage, but just before the game she made it clear she would not be performing.

More from Super Bowl LII

Timberlake's camouflage suit with a shirt sporting two deer did however raise eyebrows with the fashion police.

Despite having famous quarterback Tom Brady in their aresenal the Patriots failed to win their third Super Bowl in four years, handing the Vince Lombardi trophy over to the Eagles who secured a 41-33 win.

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