The decision to invite Justin Timberlake back to the Super Bowl 14 years after Janet Jackson’s infamous "wardrobe malfunction" sparked a furious backlash.
Fans decided to boycott the singer’s halftime show in protest, demanding #justiceforjanetjackson.
Jackson, 51, and Timberlake, 37, performed at the Super Bowl in 2004 together, with the controversial "nipplegate" happening during the track Rock Your Body.
As he sang the lyric "I’ll have you naked by the end of this song", Timberlake pulled at a part of Jackson’s costume, exposing her right breast, which was covered only by a silver decoration.
After an outcry over the incident, Jackson apologised and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cracked down on what it called "indecent content". The half-time show is now broadcast on a transmission delay.
Timberlake returned to the Super Bowl on Sunday night for the first time since that incident, working tirelessly on the 13-minute performance after having to apologise for the 2004 show.
But fans, including celebrities, were unforgiving and urged a boycott of the halftime show in support of Janet.
Earlier on Sunday, Jackson shot down rumours of a surprise reunion with Timberlake.
She on Twitter: "To put to rest any speculation or rumours as to whether I will be performing at the Super Bowl tomorrow: I will not.
"Thank you for your support and I do look forward to seeing you all very soon."
The 2004 stunt, which saw Justin pull away the material on Janet’s top to expose her boob, resulted in 540,000 complaints and almost cost TV network CBS $550,000, although the Supreme Court later canned the punishment.
It also prompted broadcasters to introduce a short video delay for live events, and MTV, who produced the show, weren’t invited back to do another.
And fans believed that while JT was allowed to bounce back – and then some – Janet’s career never recovered.
MTV’s owner, Viacom, subsequently blacklisted Janet’s songs from MTV, VH1 and the radio stations it owned, according to reports, and Disney tore down a life-sized statue of Mickey Mouse wearing Janet’s black leather costume from her 1989 video for Rhythm Nation.
”Considering all the controversy it drew, we talked it over for a couple of days and decided it would be best to replace hers with a new one,” Disney spokesman Gary Foster told the Orlando Sentinel at the time.
A spokesperson for Janet previously admitted that the move was a last-minute addition by her and JT, but insisted she wasn’t supposed to show any bare flesh.
“[It] was a malfunction of the wardrobe; it was not intentional. . . [Timberlake] was supposed to pull away the bustier and leave the red-lace bra,” said her rep, referencing her underwear which Justin was seen holding in his hand.