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The Weeknd to Headline Super Bowl 55 Halftime Show

Abel Tesfaye to lead performance on February 7th, 2021 at Tampa Bay, Florida’s Raymond James Stadium

Pari Dukovic*

The Weeknd will serve as headliner of the Super Bowl LV halftime show, the NFL and the New York Times revealed Thursday.

“We all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl, and one can only dream of being in that position,” Abel Tesfaye said in a statement. “I’m humbled, honored, and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”

Presently unable to tour football stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Weeknd will instead showcase his music to an audience of hundreds of millions on February 7th, 2021 at Tampa Bay, Florida’s Raymond James Stadium.

For the second year following a partnership with the NFL, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation will produce the halftime show. “The Weeknd has introduced a sound all his own,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry.”

Prior to the announcement, the Weeknd teased his Super Bowl performance with a tweet that simply stated “LV813,” “LV” being Super Bowl 55 and “813” the Tampa Bay code.

As the New York Times reports, the coronavirus pandemic presents a series of problems both for the Super Bowl – as of now, the Tampa Bay stadium will currently only be 20-percent filled for the Big Game – as well as the production of the halftime show itself, as a crew of hundreds is required to quickly assemble and disassemble the stage at midfield during the game’s 30-minute break.

The Weeknd continues a string of pop acts to headline the Super Bowl in recent years, including Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, and, most recently, Shakira, and Jennifer Lopez.

A Rock Hall-inducted band has not headlined at halftime since 2010, when the Who led Super Bowl 44. That performance marked the end of a six-year run for halftime classic rockers, NFL’s post-Nipplegate response that saw Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, and the Who headline in successive years.

From Rolling Stone US