The Weeknd didn’t wear the bandages and bloody face makeup he’s worn in some recent gigs, though a field full of dancers did wear mummy-like face wrap. And his set stretched from the stands to the field, and featured a mirror-filled array that made it look like he was singing in a fairground fun house.
Before the match, The Weeknd said he was excited to perform.
“We all grow up watching the world’s greatest acts play the Super Bowl and you can only dream of being in that position,” the singer said in a statement. “I am humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”
Ready for The Weeknd: who is he?
Born in Toronto to Ethiopian immigrant parents, The Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye) started his career in the 21st century way – uploading songs to YouTube in 2010.
According to Grammy.com, he chose his stage name because he dropped out of high school and “left for a weekend and never (came) back home.” His stage name is missing an “e” because there was already a Canadian band known as The Weekend.
He has since won three Grammys, eight Billboard Music Awards, five American Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, and nine Juno Awards. He was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live three times. His last SNL appearance came in March 2020, just before the pandemic locked up most things. On that show, he startled the audience with his bandaged face, but the look was part of the act.
“The meaning of the whole headband reflects on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrities and people who manipulate themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated,” he told Variety in a teasing and mysterious interview. (The New York Post has a long schedule of the singer’s gory bandage look.)
What he delivered
He didn’t wear the bandage on the Super Bowl show, or in a 30-second ad for his halftime performance. In it, he is dressed in an all-black outfit, complete with leather jacket and shiny shoes, and he walks through a stadium tunnel to the field.
In a 10-minute press conference, The Weeknd confirmed that he has put his own money into getting only the Super Bowl sets he wants. Although the game organizers cover all production costs, the singer put in $ 7 million to “make this show what he wanted,” his manager told Billboard.
Previous Super Bowl performers have included special guests on their show, but as befits a social year, The Weeknd had no other performers with them.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, new health and safety guidelines apply throughout the event. Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium normally seats more than 65,000 people, but due to pandemic restrictions, only about 25,000 fans attended the match, including 7,500 vaccinated health workers who were given free tickets.
And fans have a social distance in “ sitting capsules, ” People magazine reports. They will also be required to wear masks, receive free hand sanitizer, and pay for food or souvenirs with contactless payment options.
How to watch
The Super Bowl airs on CBS on Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT), and is on livestreamed for free on the CBS Sports app, on mobile devices, and on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. The NFL and Yahoo Sports mobile apps will also all stream the game for free on phones and tablets.
CBSSports.com will stream the game on its website without the need for pay TV authentication. Mobile apps for CBS Sports, the NFL app and Yahoo Sports will all stream the game for free on phones and tablets as well.
Those who want to watch on a TV can do so with the CBS Sports app on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Other options include AirPlaying from an iOS device or Chromecasting to an Android TV or Google Chromecast streaming dongle from an Android phone or tablet. If none of that works, you can always connect a computer to the HDMI port on your TV.
YouTube TV costs $ 65 a month and includes all the channels NFL fans need: CBS, ESPN and NFL Network. Enter your zip code on the Welcome page to find out which local area networks are available in your area.
FuboTV costs $ 65 a month for its Family plan and includes CBS plus ESPN and the NFL Network for tracking all the pre-Super Bowl fun. Click here to see which local channels you get.
Looking for more ways to watch? We’ve got a comprehensive explanation of the many ways to get CBS or other services that play in our.
More Super Bowl music
Although he had no guests during his performance, The Weeknd wasn’t the only famous singer to appear in the Super Bowl.
Miley Cyrusduring an iconic pre-show. The anthem of the pregame was one . Prior to the national anthem, the Grammy-winning singer sang HER America the Beautiful.
After the game there will be more music. Verizon is hosting Big Concert for Small Business, a live streaming musical event hosted by Tiffany Haddish and featuring artists including Alicia Keys, Brandi Carlile, Christina Aguilera, Luke Bryan and Miley Cyrus, along with more from HER, Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church.
The concert will be streamed on Verizon’s Twitter, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube channels, as well as on Yahoo, Fios, and iHeartRadio, starting after the match at 8:00 p.m. PT. The organizers are encouraging fans to make a donation of $ 10 to support small businesses by texting SMALLBIZ to 20222.
CNET’s Matt Elliott and Eli Blumenthal contributed to this story.