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What to expect from The Weeknd during the Super Bowl halftime show

The Weeknd is your halftime performer at Super Bowl LV. This is what you need to know.

Super Bowl LV - The Weeknd Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TW

It’s time for America’s biggest concert, which happens to be between the first and second half of America’s biggest sporting event, the Super Bowl. Whether or not you’re interested in watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Kansas City Chiefs, the halftime show is bound to be a talking point around the country the next day.

This year’s Super Bowl halftime performer is R&B/soul artist, The Weeknd. No, that’s not a typo. The Weeknd has been releasing music since 2010 and gained popularity at an exponential rate. Now a multi-platinum award-winning artist, his last three albums have reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and all went multi-platinum.

The Weeknd’s songs, Blinding Lights and Save Your Tears, sit at No. 3 and 14 respectively on the Billboard The Hot 100. His albums After Hours (2020), Beauty Behind the Madness (2015), and Starboy (2016) are No. 4, No. 78, and No. 88 on the Billboard 200 as well. I write all this to say he is a good and well-known artist that continues to create great music with staying power.

Typically, Super Bowl halftime performances consist of seven to 15 songs, and while that is a big range, that leaves many of us wondering which songs will make the cut. Will he perform I Can’t Feel My Face, Starboy, Heartless, The Hills?

2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Paris - Show Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret

What is the Weeknd famous for?

If you’re not familiar with the Weeknd’s mainstream music, you may have heard him in the film Black Panther. He collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the song Pray For Me as a part of the movie’s album.

You may have also seen him in Uncut Gems, where he played himself singing The Mornings, a song from his debut mixtape House of Balloons. Or on SNL, performing his song Blinding Lights. He also appeared in a few skits, one of which was called “Weeknd Update.”

Premiere Of A24’s “Uncut Gems” - Red Carpet Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

What to expect in The Weeknd’s halftime show

The Weeknd dropped some hints during his introductory press conference before the game:

What happened to The Weeknd’s face?

A character with a busted nose and bandaged face is the main protagonist in many of the music videos from The Weeknd’s After Hours album. Since the album’s launch in November 2020, that character has made public appearances, leaving many wondering if The Weeknd’s face is okay. Long story short, his face is fine. When he’s bandaged up, he’s in character, and when he is not, well, he’s fully The Weeknd.

2020 American Music Awards - Show Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for dcp

The bandages critique Hollywood’s beauty culture and people manipulating themselves through plastic surgery and other means for superficial reasons. For him, being attractive isn’t what he’s after. Through his character, he is not only promoting his album, but sparking up a conversation around Hollywood’s beauty standards, what it means to be attractive, and more.

Will The Weeknd bring out a guest star?

The Weeknd has collaborated with many musicians during his 11 years as an artist, but here are a few potential guest performers.

  • Daft Punk - Starboy (Starboy), I Feel It Coming (Starboy), and Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack)
  • Ed Sheeran - Dark Times (Beauty Behind The Madness)
  • Lana Del Rey - Prisoner (Beauty Behind The Madness)
  • Labrinth - Losers (Beauty Behind The Madness)
  • Future - All I Know (Starboy)
  • Kendrick Lamar - Pray For Me (Black Panther The Album Music) and Sidewalks (Starboy)
  • Drake - Live For (Kiss Land)
  • Ariana Grande - Love Me Harder (My Everything)

What’s the best The Weeknd song?

The “best” is all personal preference, but my favorite song from The Weeknd is still, after three years and new music, I Can’t Feel My Face, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. If I were a betting woman, I would bet good money that he will perform it during halftime. Also, Starboy was a banger when it came out and had its moment at the top of the charts.

While we don’t know for sure how The Weeknd’s performance will go, he has poured $7 million of his own money into making this halftime show one to remember. If that doesn’t scream investment, I don’t know what does. We will have to see how it all turns out.