Grit Daily Sunday Sesh favorite, The Weeknd, is slated to perform at this NFL season’s Super Bowl. The Pepsi Halftime Show at Super Bowl LV is being produced by Jay-Z, his company Roc Nation and (obviously) Pepsi. This will be the second collaboration between those partners and the NFL, following up on the highly successful Super Bowl LIV halftime show featuring Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.
Commenting on The Weeknd’s headlining status, Jay-Z said, “The Weeknd has ushered in 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.”
Speaking on the honor that it is to perform on such a large stage, The Weeknd said, “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.”
An Interesting Year for the Super Bowl
Super Bowl LV comes at a very unique moment in time for the United States. Not only is the event taking place during the surging COVID-19 pandemic, but it is occurring during a time of significant social change.
The Weeknd has been very active in his philanthropic efforts, not only donating foreign crisis relief efforts but also to domestic organizations. Following the death of George Floyd, the singer donated $200,000 to Black Lives Matter, $100,000 to National Bail Out and $200,000 to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s The Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation is also heavily involved in social justice issues, working hard to follow through on their “unwavering commitment to humanitarianism.” This makes the booking an extremely logical one on many levels. Not only did The Weeknd hit number one on the charts with this year’s After Hours, but his stance on social justice lines up directly with the NFL’s efforts to combat systemic racism.
As far as the pandemic is concerned, Raymond James Stadium—home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the site for Super Bowl LV—will be allowing fans into the stadium, but capping ticket sales at 20% stadium capacity. This means that The Weeknd will have a live audience to perform to, but the halftime show will likely not allow fans on the field as they have in the past.
One this is for certain, following the success of Roc Nation and Pepsi’s halftime show last year as well as the success of The Weeknd’s After Hours, this year’s Super Bowl halftime show will be one that you do not want to miss.