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Justin Sorry for Janet Strip

Viewers outraged over bared boob

February 2, 2004 12:00 AM ET

Nearly everyone involved with the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show has distanced themselves from Janet Jackson's bare boob appearance yesterday, save Jackson herself.

Jackson was the headline performer during halftime. She was joined in a song-and-dance routine by Justin Timberlake, who punctuated "Rock Your Body" refrain of "Gonna have you naked by the end of this song," by tugging at Jackson's costume and revealing her right breast. The performance generated angry phone calls from CBS' viewers, and the network and Timberlake were quick to apologize. Timberlake called the incident a "wardrobe malfunction."

"I am sorry if anyone was offended," he said. "It was not intentional and is regrettable."

MTV, which produced the halftime show, also issued a statement calling it "unrehearsed, unplanned, completely unintentional and inconsistent with assurances we had about the content of the performance." CBS also distanced itself from the show, saying "it's unlikely that MTV will produce another Super Bowl halftime."

In spite of assurances that Jackson's revelation was inadvertent, several signs suggest that at least a few participants in the halftime show expected it. Last week, her choreographer Gil Duldulao told MTV to expect some "shocking moments" during the program, and just before Jackson clutched her bare chest, a silver medallion was visible mid-breast. According to the Drudge Report this morning, a source at CBS admitted that top network executive's signed off on the gimmick.

Jackson has made no public statement about the performance, but shortly after her appearance, Virgin Records initiated promotion for her new album, Damita Jo, which will be released March 30th. The single "Just a Little While" will be distributed to radio stations worldwide today. Damita Jo features production by Jackson's longtime partners Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, along with Dallas Austin (TLC, Madonna), Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and Kanye West (Jay-Z).

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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