The Weeknd to headline Super Bowl LV halftime show
The Weeknd will follow Jennifer Lopez and Shakira as the next halftime show headliner.
The singer, born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, jointly announced the news on Thursday over social media with halftime show sponsor Pepsi and producers Roc Nation—reminding us all that there is still going to be a Super Bowl this February in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"performing on the iconic stage. see you 02/07/21," he wrote.
Current circumstances will likely result in challenges to the entertainment, given the large crowds the Super Bowl typically attracts. Super Bowl LV is scheduled to kick off in Tampa, Fla. next year, and this fall-winter seasons have already seen new spikes in COVID-19 cases. Though, some musicians have been able to put on socially distanced live performances under specific conditions.
This year's Super Bowl LIV saw Lopez and Shakira running through hits from their respective music catalogues, while also making political statements on the grand stage, including one sequence featuring children singing from what resembled glistening cages. Jay-Z's Roc Nation collaborated with the NFL for that performance, and is doing so again with The Weeknd's stint.
“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 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.”
The Weeknd dropped After Hours in March with its Billboard chart-topping "Blinding Lights," and the album became the most-streamed R&B album of all time.
“We all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position," the singer said. "I’m humbled, honored, and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year."