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Justin Timberlake and Stephen Colbert Tackle ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ Talk Super Bowl Performance

Justin Timberlake is only too happy to sing, dance and act with millions looking on. What scares him is singing the national anthem (and with good reason).

The pop star dropped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday for a breezy chat about life, the past and the future.

Justin Timberlake revealed his vocal talents were nurtured in the church. “For all you aspiring singers, it’s the only place, the best place to start”, he explained. “Old Rugged Cross”, we’re told, is a good hymn to warm up with. The national anthem the toughest. So, naturally, Colbert coaxed his guest into facing his fears as the pair harmonized on “The Star-Spangled Banner”.

Timberlake, apparently surprised by his own efforts, qualified his earlier comments. “You know that church is the best place to sing because you can go up there and completely botch anything and then at the end everyone says, ‘amen'”. Watch below at the 4:40 mark.

Colbert also probed Timberlake about his upcoming performance at the 2018 Super Bowl Halftime Show. Only folks with a terrible memory wouldn’t recall Timberlake’s performance with Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl in 2004 which ended in a “wardrobe malfunction” and a hefty fine from the Federal Communications Commission.

So, anything special planned for the big show next year, asked the host? After a pregnant pause, and some spaced-out looks, Timberlake went with the straight answer: “It’ll be a great show”.


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