Despite the pandemic, The Weeknd is having a huge year. The Scarborough, Ontario–bred star is ready to take pop’s biggest stage: the Super Bowl halftime show.
The singer, born Abel Tesfaye, decided not to delay his album After Hours at the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown, and it paid off. He’s become Universal Music Canada’s most lucrative artist. He was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2020. And his chart-topping Blinding Lights song has been totally ubiquitous.
He’s been charitable during this time too, making big donations (and challenging others to do the same) for racial justice, frontline workers and victims of the Beirut explosion.
With the Mod Club closing this past week, the Toronto venue where the Weeknd had his first show in 2011, it’s hard not to think about how far he’s come. He always had the voice, but now his performance skills have caught up in a big way and so have his production values.
The Super Bowl, which takes place February 7, 2021, in Tampa, Florida’s Raymond James Stadium, likely won’t be a full house during the pandemic (at least we hope it won’t). But we can at least expect this will be a full audio-visual experience. The Weeknd’s North American After Hours tour, which unfortunately had to be postponed this year, was going to boast the most LED lights and video of any award tour ever. He won’t let that go to waste for the NFL’s biggest football game.
Roc Nation and producer Jesse Collins will co-executive produce the halftime show.