Canadian singer The Weeknd will star at the next Super Bowl halftime show, although it is not yet clear how the concert will be adapted to the context of the pandemic.
The choice of R&B singer, real name Abel Tesfaye, for the final on February 7, 2021 in Tampa, confirms the NFL’s desire to select younger artists and contribute to more diversity.
“I am touched, honored, and delighted to find myself at the center of this famous scene this year,” the 30-year-old star, known for songs like “Blinding Lights” or “Starboy”, a collaboration with the French duo Daft Punk.
This is the second year that the NFL has collaborated, to organize this show, with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation group, with the idea of promoting social justice.
The rapper had indicated in 2019 that he wanted to help the NFL overcome the controversy that followed the protest movement launched by former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2016, who dropped on one knee to protest against police violence against African Americans. This gesture had earned him insults from Donald Trump, and ultimately cost him his career.
But Jay-Z had been heavily criticized for the NFL deal, with some criticizing him for wanting to make money at Kaepernick’s expense.
The Weeknd gave him his support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and contributed some $ 200,000 to the legal aid fund launched by Colin Kaepernick after the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police at the end of May, which had sparked huge protests. in the USA.
“It’s very difficult for me to be happy right now,” The Weeknd said when accepting the award for best R&B video at the MTV Video Music Awards last August. “Justice for Jacob Blake and justice for Breonna Taylor,” he continued, referring to two other recent black victims of police violence.
It is still unclear how the pandemic could affect the February show. Having reached mid-season, the NFL has already had to reorganize several matches due to cases of Covid-19 in its teams.
“Our intention is to have as many fans at the Super Bowl as safe as possible,” NFL President Roger Goodell said recently.