Canadian singer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, known professionally as The Weeknd, has partnered with the National Football League and plans on performing at the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show. Over 100 million people watch the Super Bowl each year, so headlining the event marks a great feat for musicians; only the best of the best receive the opportunity to take the stage.
The Weeknd took to his social media platforms, describing the stage on which many legends before him have performed as “iconic.” In the press release announcing the event, The Weeknd said he felt humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of the infamous stage this year.
The last halftime show, which occurred in Feb. 2020, featured Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. Other past performers include Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson, all of whom remain dignified members from entertainment history. In an interview with Vanity Fair, The Weeknd expressed his love for Michael Jackson’s music, specifically his song “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough,” calling it the song that helped him find his voice and the reason he sings. In the same interview, the R&B star said he wished to produce something similar to Prince’s “Purple Rain.” His fondness for the two famed artists could make performing at the halftime show all the more important to him.
The Weeknd first shared his talent anonymously through Youtube in 2011. He gained traction as a musician the same year with his mixtape “House of Balloons.” The Weeknd has since released four coveted studio albums, two compilation albums, two more mixtapes and one EP and has also collaborated with pop stars Ariana Grande, Drake and other prominent musicians.
The Weeknd has received numerous accolades. He has won three Grammys, two for Urban Contemporary Album of the Year and one for best R&B performance, two American Music awards and nine Billboard Music Awards. Five of The Weeknd’s songs have garnered over one million chart sales. In short, The Weeknd has proven himself a notable musician, and headlining the halftime show furthers his career.