The NFL was facing a serious problem: how does one follow Jennifer Lopez and Shakira? The dynamic entertainers raised the bar when it came to Super Bowl Halftime shows after their epic performance in 2020. Somehow, the NFL found an answer. The football league – in partnership with Pepsi and Roc Nation – announced on Nov. 12 that The Weeknd will headline Super Bowl LV’s Halftime Show, taking place on Feb. 7, 2021, at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. “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,” The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) said in a statement.
This marks the second year of the collaboration between Roc Nation and Pepsi. JAY-Z (aka Shawn Carter), the founder of the entertainment agency, promised an “extraordinary” show for football fans. “The Weeknd has introduced a sound all his own. His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry,” Hova said in a statement. “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.”
“The Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show is one of the most anticipated performances of the year, and we are thrilled to welcome The Weeknd to the stage,” Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s VP of Marketing, added in the statement. “Pepsi has worked with some of music’s biggest artists over the years – from Prince to Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and most recently Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. After a year that’s largely been void of live music, we can’t wait to watch The Weeknd transform the world’s biggest stage with his limitless talent and creativity, delivering what will most certainly be an unforgettable performance that will be remembered for years to come.”
That statement may be truer than the Pepsi executive thinks. The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, with over 10 million cases and nearly 240,000 dead due to the virus. There were over four thousand new cases reported in Florida on Nov. 10, according to Fox 13 Tampa Bay. If the trend continues upwards, The Weeknd may be playing to a near-empty stadium due to safety precautions. Football and music fans will have to wait and see if-and-how Super Bowl LV — and its Halftime show — goes down when Feb. 07, 2021, rolls around.