Super Bowl Halftime Show 2021: The Weeknd Teases How His Halftime Performance Will Be Different Due to Pandemic
By BreAnna Bell - February 4, 2021 04:06 pm EST
This year's Super Bowl halftime show performer is The Weeknd, but the Canadian singer tells viewers planning to watch this year's halftime concert that his performance will look very differently from past shows due to the ongoing pandemic. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight , the The Weeknd admits he and his team had to improvise in order to follow the new provisions for this year's halftime show.
"Well, due to COVID-19 and for the safety of the players and the workers, we kind of built this stage within the stadium," The Weeknd explained. "We're also using the field as well, but we wanted to kind of do something that we've never done before. [...] Yeah, so we built the stage and the stadium," he continued, remaining tight-lipped on any other stage details. "But I'm not going to tell you anything else, because you have to watch on Sunday."
The Weeknd did admit he will likely shed his After Hours persona and plastic surgery look for the upcoming halftime show. "I definitely want to be respectful to the viewers at home," the Blinding Lights singer explained. "I will still incorporate some of the storyline. It's a very cohesive story I've been telling throughout this era and throughout this year. The story will continue, but definitely will keep it PG for the families. I'll try my best."
On a recent SNL performance, the singer performed with a bandaged face, confusing some fans. However, in his "Blinding Lights" video, he gets in brawl with some bouncers, seemingly causing the injuries shown in other parts of the story.
It's unknown at the moment what message he'll be looking to deliver in the forthcoming Super Bowl halftime performance, but viewers should still watch out for hints, the Weeknd says. "I don't like to spoon-feed the audience," he continued. "Hopefully they can pick up some of their own theories and conclusions of what the show is saying and the story I'm telling from the performance."
There's a long tradition of halftime show performers featuring some A-List surprise guests. For example, last year, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira brought on Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Lopez's own daughter during their performance. The Weekend said there will no special guests joining him during the Super Bowl halftime show.
"There wasn't any room to fit it in the narrative and the story I was telling in the performance," he told the NFL Network. "So, there's no special guests, no."
Super Bowl LV will be played between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday, February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET which puts the Super Bowl halftime show at approximately 8:00 pm, give or take, depending on what happens during the first half of the big game.
Previous Super Bowl Halftime Show Performers
Here are the singers and prior years' halftime performances and themes of every Super Bowl halftime performance since Super Bowl I.
2021: The Weeknd
2020: Jennifer Lopez and Shakira
2019: Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi
2018: Justin Timberlake, The Tennessee Kids, University of Minnesota Marching Band
2017: Lady Gaga
2016: Coldplay, Beyonce, Bruno Mars
2015: Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott
2014: Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers
2011: The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Slash
2010: The Who
2009: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
2008: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
2007: Prince and the Florida A&M marching ban
2006: The Rolling Stones
2005: Paul McCartney
2004: Janet Jackson, Kid Rock, P. Diddy, Nelly and Justin Timberlake
2003: Shania Twain, No Doubt and Sting
2001: "The Kings of Rock and Pop" featuring Aerosmith, 'N'Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Nelly
2000: "A Tapestry of Nations" featuring Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton and an 80-person choir
1999: "Celebration of Soul, Salsa and Swing" featuring Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and tap dancer Savion Glover
1998: "A Tribute to Motown's 40th Anniversary" including Boyz II Men, Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, Martha Reeves and The Temptations
1997: "Blues Brothers Bash" featuring Dan Akroyd, John Goodman and James Belushi (also featuring "The Godfather of Soul" James Brown and ZZ Top)
1996: Diana Ross celebrating 30 years of the Super Bowl with special effects, pyrotechnics and stadium card stunt. Finale featured Diana Ross being taken from the stadium in a helicopter
1995: "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye" featuring Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, Arturo Sandoval, the Miami Sound Machine and stunts including fire and skydivers. Finale included audience participation with light sticks
1994: "Rockin' Country Sunday" featuring Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, Wynonna & Naomi Judd. Finale included flashlight stunt
1993: "Heal the World" featuring Michael Jackson and 3,500 local children. Finale included audience card stunt.
1991: "A Small World Salute to 25 Years of the Super Bowl" featuring New Kids on the Block
1990: "Salute to New Orleans" and 40th Anniversary of Peanuts' characters, featuring trumpeter Pete Fountain, Doug Kershaw & Irma Thomas
1989: "Be Bop Bamboozled" featuring 3-D effects
1988: "Something Grand" featuring 88 grand pianos, the Rockettes and Chubby Checker
1987: "Salute to Hollywood's 100th Anniversary"
1986: "Beat of the Future"
1985: "A World of Children's Dreams"
1984: "Super Bowl XVIII's Salute to the Superstars of the Silver Screen"
1983: "KaleidoSUPERscope" (a kaleidoscope of color and sound)
1982: "A Salute to the 60s and Motown"
1981: "A Mardi Gras Festival"
1980: "A Salute to the Big Band Era" with Up with People
1979: "Super Bowl XIII Carnival" Salute to the Caribbean with Ken Hamilton and various Caribbean bands
1978: "From Paris to the Paris of America" with Tyler Apache Belles, Pete Fountain and Al Hirt
1977: "It's a Small World" including crowd participation for first time with spectators waving colored placards on cue
1976: "200 Years and Just a Baby" Tribute to America's Bicentennial
1975: "Tribute to Duke Ellington" with Mercer Ellington and Grambling State band
1974: "A Musical America" with University of Texas band
1973: "Happiness Is." with University of Michigan marching band and Woody Herman
1972: "Salute to Louis Armstrong" with Ella Fitzgerald, Carol Channing, Al Hirt and U.S. Marine Corps Drill Team
1971: Florida A&M band
1970: Carol Channing
1969: "America Thanks" with Florida A&M University band0comments
1968: Grambling State band
1967: University of Arizona and Grambling State marching bands