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One of the most coveted gigs in music will go to The Weeknd as the pop star will headline the 2021 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show in Tampa, Fla. The NFL, Pepsi and Roc Nation announced Thursday that the three-time Grammy Award winner will be the headline performer on Feb. 7 at Raymond James Stadium, assuming the Super Bowl goes off as scheduled.
There have been reports that the game could be pushed back if COVID-19 cases continue to rise and the United States is forced to go back under quarantine. But the date of the game should not affect who performs during the intermission.
The Weeknd said the opportunity has humbled him. He posted a photo of himself with the logo of the halftime show on social media to announce the news, along with the following message:
“We all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl, and one can only dream of being in that position,” he said in a statement. “I’m humbled, honored, and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage.”
Working For The Weeknd
The Weeknd’s first mainstream hit, “Can’t Feel My Face,” was featured on his second studio album, “Beauty Behind the Madness,” which topped the Billboard 200 in 2015 and won a Grammy. Three other albums that have followed have topped the charts, including his most recent effort, “After Hours,” which dropped this past March.
Earlier this year, The Weeknd’s hit single “Blinding Lights” became his fifth song to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Both the NBA and college football used the song for pre- and post-game shows as well as in-game presentations.
He’s also won Grammys for his album “Starboy” and the song “Earned It” from the film, Fifty Shades of Grey.
“The Weeknd has introduced a sound all his own,” said Roc Nation founder Jay-Z. “His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry. 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.”
Roc Nation and Emmy-nominated producer Jesse Collins will serve as co-executive producers of the halftime show. The game and halftime show will air live on CBS. This marks the second year of collaboration between the NFL, Pepsi and Roc Nation.
“We are thrilled to have The Weeknd join us in Tampa Bay on the Pepsi Halftime Stage,” said Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s chief media and business officer. “Halftime show performances have a history of excellence and creativity, and we look forward to seeing what he will bring to Super Bowl LV.”
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, joins a list of celebrated musicians who have played during Super Bowl halftime shows. The Roc Nation collaboration presented the impressive pairing of Shakira and Jennifer Lopez earlier this year in Miami.
Prior to that, we’ve seen Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Coldplay. Of course, the setlist has also included the likes of Madonna, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael Jackson and many others.