The Weeknd’s recent wardrobe choices, including full-face bandages, in the weeks leading up to his Super Bowl halftime performance had left many fans pondering how he would appear at the event.
The R&B singer performed at halftime during Super Bowl 55 on February 7 in Tampa, Florida on CBS. The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, made headlines in November when he sported a full-face of bandages at the American Music Awards over a seemingly bruised and swollen face via visual effects, Variety reported.
Since then, he had kept consistent with his battered look for a majority of his appearances, until his recent Super Bowl ad.
The R&B singer opened the Super Bowl halftime show in his usual red suit jacket, which was bedazzled, while singing “Starboy.” Unlike his previous appearances while promoting his album, “After Hours,” the singer did not sport the bandages. His face seemed to be completely normal, a different take from his plastic-surgery look in his recent music video for “Save Your Tears.”
His second performance was “Can’t Feel My Face,” in which he appeared in a mirror house accompanied by background performers who were all wearing the signature face bandages and red suit jackets. The song was then followed by “I Feel It Coming.”
— NFL (@NFL) February 8, 2021
The Weeknd performed in both the stands, onstage and on the actual field. During his performance of “Earned It,” a string orchestra played in the background.
A group of performers, again wrapped in the bandages and draped in the signature red coat jackets, took the field to perform a dance similar to that of a marching band mixed with step.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Weeknd Recently Explained Why He’s Been Wearing Bandages
The Weeknd’s battered appearance era stems from the November 2019 launch of his “After Hours” album, according to Variety. The album, which features the hit singles and videos “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless,” is marked by a “busted-nose character” trapped in a tumultuous Las Vegas storyline.
“This character is having a really bad night, and you can come with your own interpretation of what it is,” The Weeknd told Variety.
The singer then shocked fans again on January 5 when he revealed a drastically altered face underneath the bandages, People Magazine reported. The 30-year-old showcased his new face, which resembles botched plastic surgery, in the music video for his single, “Save Your Tears.”
The Weeknd explained to Variety that his exaggerated features critique the “culture of Hollywood celebrity.”
“The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrity and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated,” he shared.
Sports Betting Dime Projected That The Weeknd Would Drop His Battered Look for the Super Bowl
Sports Betting Dime projected that The Weeknd would likely switch up his recent battered look for his Super Bowl performance.
“You know what The Weeknd likes to do? Surprise people. While he’s definitely not been shy being outspoken about his recent distaste of The Grammys, this isn’t the only opportunity he’s been unexpected and done things his own way,” the outlet reported.
Because halftime performances have historically skyrocketed performers’ revenue and sales, SBD claimed The Weeknd would use the opportunity to close his “After Hours” chapter.
“With ‘After Hours’ nearing its promotional expiration (at about a year and a half from the time the first single, ‘Heartless’, dropped), The Weeknd is probably planning his move for either a break or the next album,” SBD said.
The outlet added that the singer would likely wear “black,” writing:
So he’ll likely drop the concept album’s schtick for this performance in lieu of a literal and metaphorical fresh-faced reset. He’ll play his old favorites and leave the red jacket at home. And nothing is a fashion palet cleanser as much as wearing black.