Canadian superstar The Weeknd, famous for his three-time Grammy award-winning vocal falsettos, will headline the 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Pepsi, the NFL and Jay-Z’s entertainment agency Roc Nation released the news today, following a series of teasers that ran on The Weeknd’s social accounts late Wednesday.
Calling the halftime show “one of the most anticipated performances of the year,” Pepsi vp of marketing Todd Kaplan said in a statement that the brand is “thrilled to welcome The Weeknd to the stage.”
“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,” Kaplan added.
Super Bowl LV will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 7 and will air live on CBS.
This marks Pepsi’s 10th year as the title sponsor of the halftime show and 19th year as an NFL partner. Last year, the show featured headline performances from Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. Previous acts have included Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Prince and Madonna.
“We all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position,” The Weeknd said in a statement. “I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”
Production company DPS will produce the show’s telecast, while Roc Nation and actor Jesse Collins will serve as executive producers. Hamish Hamilton, who has directed the Super Bowl halftime show every year since 2010, will direct. Roc Nation will also serve as strategic entertainment advisors of the live performance.
The Weeknd’s 2020 album After Hours is the most streamed R&B album of all time, followed by his 2016 album Starboy. He’s also one of the most streamed artists on Spotify, with more than 51 billion listens. The Weeknd was named one of the most influential people of the year this year by Time Magazine with a tribute by Elton John, who called the artist a “mysterious figure in an era when mystery is rare in pop.”
“The Weeknd has introduced a sound all his own,” said Jay-Z in a statement. “His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry.”