The Weeknd performed at the 2021 Super Bowl 55 halftime show on February 7 in Tampa, Florida.
The R&B singer opened his act 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 his full-face 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 his signature face bandages and red suit jackets. The song was then followed by “I Feel It Coming.”
The Weeknd performed in 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 signature red coat jackets, took the field and performed a dance similar to that of a marching band mixed in with step.
The Weeknd then joined the performers on the field for “Blinding Lights” as fireworks shot into the sky.
The three-time-Grammy-Award-winner shared in a statement with Sporting News, “We all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position.”
“I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year,” he continued.
The Weeknd’s Recent Wardrobe Choices Had Many Fans Guessing What He Would Wear for the Show
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, made headlines last year 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
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.
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.”
Sporting News Projects That The Weeknd Will Earn at Least a 400% Increase in Sales
Sporting News reported that, despite being for free, the 13-minute performance onstage will likely boost the musician’s sales almost immediately.
The Weeknd has quickly made a name for himself as a versatile R&B singer who is here to stay.
The 30-year-old first rose to fame in 2011 with his nine-song mixtape, “House of Balloons,” and later “solidified his star status thanks to his blockbuster albums ‘Beauty Behind the Madness’ (2015) — which included his biggest hits to date, ‘The Hills’ and ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ — and ‘Starboy’ (2016),” Billboard said.
So far, The Weeknd has recorded 72 Hot 100 Songs on Billboard and has been on the organization’s Artist 100 Chart for 290 weeks, according to Billboard’s website.
Sporting News estimates that The Weeknd will likely see a 400% minimum boost in sales following his upcoming Super Bowl performance, writing:
That would suggest that it’s relatively safe to project The Weeknd will earn, at minimum, a 400 percent rise in sales and streaming numbers in the days following his Super Bowl performance. To help the growth along, The Weeknd released an album dubbed “The Highlights” that features 18 of his most popular tracks, although it wasn’t available on streaming services as of late-January.