The NFL Taps The Weeknd for 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show

Weeknd performs during the runway at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016, in Paris, France.
Weeknd performs during the runway at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on November 30, 2016, in Paris, France.
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain for Victoria’s Secret (Getty Images)

If you’re a fan of football and funky musings of unrequited love, then this news is especially for you. Today, the NFL announced its headliner for the 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show in Tampa Bay, Fla. and it’s none other than the soulful Starboy himself, The Weeknd. (Sidenote, I was today-years-old when I realized there’s no ‘e’ in the latter half of The Weeknd’s name. Has it always been spelled like that or has 2020 just made me forget even the simplest of pop culture knowings? Probably the latter, huh? Hm. I really oughta get back in therapy.)


The Weeknd’s performance will be the second installment in the NFL’s Pepsi and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation collaboration, the first bringing Grammy-nominated superstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira to last year’s stage. In a press release via the NFL, The Weeknd spoke on his upcoming performance, saying, in part: “We all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position. I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”

Jay-Z, who controversially began collaborating with the NFL in 2019 in an effort to bridge the gap between the league and other artists who refused to perform at games due to the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick, also shared his thoughts.

“The Weeknd has introduced a sound all his own. His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry. This is an extraordinary moment in time and the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show is going to be an extraordinary experience with an extraordinary performer.”

Extraordinary might be an overstatement though, especially given the staggering amount of COVID-19 cases that have been rising all across the country recently. Last I heard, they were considering filling up about 20% of the stadium’s seats due to the virus so I’m not sure how lit you can really be with over half of the regular-sized crowd not in attendance. But then again, this is the Weeknd we’re talking about; he can probably get lit in a room alone by himself. So I guess I won’t rule anything out just yet.