The Weeknd to headline Super Bowl 2021 half-time show

The Canadian singer is ‘humbled, honored and ecstatic’ to follow in the footsteps of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira at next year’s big game

The Weeknd performing
The Weeknd. Composite: Guardian/Film Magic
The Weeknd. Composite: Guardian/Film Magic

Last modified on Thu 12 Nov 2020 14.24 EST

The Weeknd has been announced as the headline performer at next year’s Super Bowl.

The Grammy award-winning Canadian singer, whose hits include Starboy and Blinding Lights, will take to the stage in what’s set to be an unusual year for America’s biggest sporting event due to the pandemic.

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

The singer teased his performance in a number of tweets earlier on Thursday.

“The Weeknd has introduced a sound all his own,” said Jay-Z , who advises the NFL on musical events, in a statement. “His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry.”

It is unsure as to exactly how the Super Bowl will look in 2021, with Covid-19 numbers up across most of the US. Reports suggest that the Raymond James Stadium in Florida will be reduced to just 20% capacity when the game happens on 7 February. Fans will be required to wear masks and there will be seating pods at least 6ft apart. The NFL has stated that there remains no confirmation on the capacity as yet.

It is also unsure whether the game will remain in February, with the NFL suggesting it might move to March. Just recently, a revised set of safety guidelines were released recommending masks on the sidelines.

The Weeknd follows on from this year’s performers Jennifer Lopez and Shakira who received strong reviews after middling notices for Maroon 5 and Justin Timberlake in years prior. This year, his fourth studio album After Hours became the most streamed R&B album ever.