The NFL has announced that The Weeknd will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show on CBS at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla. on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.
The singer teased the announcement late Wednesday night with a mysterious Instagram post and later confirmed the news Thursday morning.
“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 (The Weeknd) said in a statement. “I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 12, 2020
Despite the pandemic, it’s been a banner year for the Canadian crooner, who released one of the biggest albums of 2020, After Hours, which debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
He was also named one of the most influential people of 2020 by Time Magazine and hosted a state-of-the-art virtual concert on TikTok called The Weeknd Experience, that drew in over 2 million unique viewers.
This marks the second year of the collaboration between Pepsi, the NFL, and Roc Nation, which brought together Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to the halftime stage earlier this year in February, attracting more than 104 million viewers.
“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.”
The N.F.L. initially recruited Jay-Z and Roc Nation in 2019 as the league’s “live music entertainment strategists” that saw the rapper/mogul consulting on future entertainment affairs including the Super Bowl halftime performances.
Part of that partnership involved Jay-Z working with the league’s Inspire Change activism campaign, which launched in response to the controversial handling of players kneeling during the national anthem.
Tesfaye has publicly supported Colin Kaepernick and has donated to both Black Lives Matter and Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative.
Given the ongoing restrictions due to the coronavirus, the N.F.L. has significantly scaled back its plans for the Super Bowl, on Feb. 7, and has expressed plans to only fill 20 percent of the seats at Raymond James Stadium.
Meanwhile, The Weeknd has been nominated at the 2020 American Music Awards and collaborated with Ariana Grande on her single ‘off the table’ off her new No.1 album, Positions.