The Weeknd Will Bring Some Welcome Weirdness to What Will Be a Weird Super Bowl LV

Brady Langmann
·3-min read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Esquire

You'd think booking the NFL's Super Bowl Halftime Show wouldn't be the toughest thing in the world. Kind of hard to get wrong, right? Wrong. Let us point you to a few examples: Maroon 5, Maroon 5, and Maroon 5.

Thankfully, she will not be loved in 2020: R&B artist (and recent Esquire cover star) The Weeknd just announced that he'll be headlining Super Bowl LV's Halftime Show on Sunday, February 7, 2021, in Tampa, Florida's Raymond James Stadium. After years of controversy over the halftime show booking, the NFL partnered with Jay-Z's Roc Nation in 2019 to book Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Bad Bunny, and J Balvin for the Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show. And, by all accounts, that show actually ruled! Now, The Weeknd marks another strong booking from the NFL Roc Nation team up, as the singer's track "Blinding Lights" has been tearing up the charts all summer.

"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 Weeknd said. "I'm humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year."

If you're able to look away from the, well, everything of the NFL—most recently, fans who aren't exactly cool with the league's backtracking of its stance on 2016's National Anthem protests—it's a great choice. Plus, with The Weeknd scheduled to headline, there's a good chance that Ariana Grande might get invited to the party as well. Right now, her new album Positions has had a strong showing on the Billboard Hot 100, which includes a collaboration with The Weeknd, which just emerged on the chart at No. 35. Could we even hold out for an appearance from another Weeknd collaborator, like, say Drake or Kendrick Lamar, too? One could only hope.

Plus, it's worth noting that in a weird NFL season (and a weird time for the world at large), it seems only natural that The Weeknd would be the guy to fit with these strange times. Hell, he is the guy who showed up to the MTV VMAs looking like he'd just gotten beaten up. It's nice to see the NFL really leaning into the theme. And, anyway, this is the ideal platform for The Weekned. “I feel like my body was programmed and clocked to be onstage," he told us in this year's cover story.

Hear us out on one thing: There are rumors that this year's NFL playoffs might happen in a bubble. (A metaphorical bubble, yeah, but go with it for the bit.) Maybe, just maybe, it means we'll finally get the bubbled, Spongebob "Sweet Victory" performance that was unfairly snatched from us in 2018. One can dream.

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