The Weeknd’s going long for this year’s Super Bowl halftime show.
Pivoting from the usual 13-minute halftime spectacular, The Weeknd, 30, will drag his Feb. 7 performance on for a whopping 24 minutes, according to Billboard.
This comes after Pepsi, which sponsors the halftime show, announced that it was joining other advertisers in scaling back their Super Bowl 2021 commercials. The soda company said it would instead focus on its halftime show featuring the Grammy-winning, TikTok dance-inspiring “Blinding Lights” performer.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, has been staging an elaborate lead-up to his performance at Florida’s Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium, appearing in public with an increasingly beat-up face. The schtick carried into his latest music video for “Save Your Tears,” which featured him with some disturbing CGI plastic surgery. Though he later appeared to have his old face back again in a trailer for the Super Bowl, fans have begun to wonder what new look he might unveil at this year’s show.
With an even longer halftime show this year, fans are wondering just what The Weeknd will do to his face to keep the masses entertained.American Broadcasting Companies,
The hype around his now-longer halftime performance follows a disappointing lack of Grammy 2021 nominations, despite the commercial success of his latest album, “After Hours,” which spawned countless viral dance videos on TikTok with the hit single “Blinding Lights.”
Typically, the halftime show, valued at about $13 million, requires months of planning to pull off. This year’s show comes with the added complication of the coronavirus pandemic, which has pared down the size of the stadium’s audience by about a third.
Last year’s halftime show, headline by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, drew about 102 million viewers. But with more fans forced to stay home this year — and likely glued to their TVs — The Weeknd is hoping to make his show a more “cinematic experience,” he told Billboard.
He even put up $7 million of his own money to “make this halftime show be what he envisioned,” said his manager, Wassim “Sal” Slaiby, 41.
The singer remained mum on what exactly the money will be spent on, or the setlist he expects to perform. However, a teaser for the show features a montage of fans enjoying “Blinding Lights,” including a grocery store worker and a pool cleaner dancing to his tune like no one’s watching. Right at the end, The Weeknd flashes a smile to a toll booth security guard who was interrupted grooving to the hit.