Last year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira rocked the Super Bowl stage with a high energy performance, guaranteeing that their spirited halftime show would be a tough act to follow. Instead of trying to channel that same magic for Super Bowl LV, the folks at the NFL pivoted in another direction: vibes, presented by The Weeknd.
The Weeknd has officially been announced as the halftime act for the next Super Bowl, and his stage will likely look different from any previous show for many reasons, but mainly because big game and performance will take place during a global pandemic. Unlike years past where stadiums were packed with enthusiastic fans, Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium might actually be empty in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Also, The Weeknd’s style is very...unique. The Canadian singer made his debut with moody singles like "High for This" and "Wicked Games," and the rest of his discography is very much trip hop and alternative R&B — not necessarily what one would think of when scouting a Super Bowl halftime performer. But if you ask Jay-Z, who collaborated with the NFL and Pepsi to secure the halftime act, that uniqueness might be exactly what the event needs. Especially after the year we've had.
"The Weeknd has introduced a sound all his own. His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry,” Jay-Z said of the singer in a statement. “This is an extraordinary moment in time and the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show is going to be an extraordinary experience with an extraordinary performer.”
I'm honestly now exactly sure which Abel to expect for the show. There's House of Balloons Abel, who is definitely not family-friendly. There's also Starboy Abel, who could work because of "I Feel It Coming." And then there's present-day Abel, whose music falls somewhere in the middle. Either way it goes, we're in for something special.
"We all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position,” said The Weeknd of the major gig. “I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”
The Weeknd will take center stage when Super Bowl airs on February 7, 2021.