The very first Super Bowl halftime entertainment was a performance by the Three Stooges, but things are different in 2021. This year, Canadian recording artist The Weeknd will headline the Halftime Show. Curious about whether The Weeknd has ever performed at the Super Bowl? Here’s everything you need to know.
2021 Marks the First Super Bowl Appearance by The Weeknd
Check out the Pepsi commercial, which also acts as a promo for the Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl, in the video above. CNBC reports that this is the “first time the company has featured its halftime show talent in a commercial about the show.”
Pitchfork notes that The Weeknd has been on the scene since 2011, so it’s certainly surprising to some fans that The Weeknd hasn’t appeared at the Super Bowl before now.
2021 marks the first year that The Weeknd will perform at the Super Bowl. He will perform on February 7, 2021, during the Halftime Show for Super Bowl LV. The Weeknd has not appeared previously at the Super Bowl in other capacities, such as singing the national anthem.
In an interview with Billboard, Weeknd co-manager Amir “Cash” Esmailian confirmed that having The Weeknd perform at the Super Bowl
“We always had the Super Bowl on our bucket list, and we’ve always had timelines for all of our goals,” Esmailian said. “It came a few years earlier than we expected.”
NME reports that the Weeknd has a “greatest hits” album slated for release on Feburary 5, two days before the big game.
The Weeknd Will Perform Live
In contrast to the infamous lip-sync performance by Whitney Houston at the Super Bowl in 1991, it appears that The Weeknd intends to perform live for this year’s event.
In an interview with ET, Super Bowl executive producer Jesse Collins told reporters “maybe there will be cameos”, but that the focus is on The Weeknd’s “monster hits”.
“[The Weeknd] really worked hard to make sure that they are presented in a way, in a Super Bowl halftime format, in a live way that’s never been done before,” Collins told ET. “The key word is ‘live,’ like, we didn’t go pre-tape this… It’s all happening in that stadium, in that moment.”
The Weeknd Is the First Canadian to Headline the Halftime Show in Years
NME reports that The Weeknd is so committed to making an excellent halftime show this year, he put up $7 million of his own money towards the televised performance.
What, exactly, will be in store for audiences at the show is still something of a mystery. Dancing Astronaut reports that a leaked setlist may indicate that Daft punk could appear during the Super Bowl, alongside The Weeknd. That makes sense, given that the two acts collaborated on the track Starboy, featured on The Weeknd’s album of the same name. Sports betting sites are even giving odds for which songs the artist is most likely to perform during the event.
While Blindling Lights was already featured in the Pepsi commercial with The Weeknd, that doesn’t necessarily preclude the song from being featured in the Halftime Show. People notes that the song is a crowd-pleaser, having “spent 34 weeks sitting as one of the top five songs of the Hot 100 chart, earning it the record for most weeks spent in that position.”
Entertainment Tonight argues its a “safe bet” that the track will be performed during the Halftime Show in 2021.
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