- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 7, 2021

Before the second half of play begins between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV, America’s biggest concert will take place, featuring The Weeknd.

The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, has won three Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards and nine Billboard Music Awards. The Canadian R&B/soul artist has reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 list with his last three albums, most recently with After Hours. All three of those albums went multi-platinum.

“Blinding Lights” is the The Weeknd’s biggest hit off his latest album, but he has several songs within the Billboard Hot 100 list, including “Earned It” and “Can’t Feel My Face.”

While he collaborates with Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, Juice WRLD and Daft Punk on some of his well-known tracks, The Weeknd said “there’s no special guests” for his Super Bowl performance.

The Weeknd has kept mum on what to expect, but he said in a recent press conference that the halftime show will be a “cinematic experience.” He added that Diana Ross was his biggest inspiration in preparing for the concert. Ross performed at Super Bowl XXX and exited the field on a helicopter.

The Super Bowl begins at 6:30, which means The Weeknd will take the stage somewhere between 8 and 8:30 p.m. on CBS.

The Weeknd joins a long list of star-studded Super Bowl halftime show performers, but they typically include multiple artists. Last year, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez partnered. Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliot performed together in 2015, setting the record for the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show.

Lady Gaga, however, drew 117.5 million views — the second-most all-time — as a solo performer in 2017.

• Andy Kostka can be reached at akostka@washingtontimes.com.

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