- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 12, 2020

The Weeknd will be performing on the biggest weekend of the year.

The NFL announced Thursday that the Grammy Award-winning pop artist is this year’s halftime act for Super Bowl 55 in Tampa, Florida. The game is set to be held on Sunday, Feb. 7.

The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, is best known for his hits “Blinding Lights” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” He’s had five number one hits. 

“We all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl, and one can only dream of being in that position,” he said in a statement. “I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”

This year’s halftime show could look quite different due to coronavirus protocols. NFL officials are planning for only a 20% capacity at Raymond James Stadium — roughly 15,000 fans — though the league in a statement has denied a number has been officially set. 



Some past halftime acts have allowed for some spectators on the field, with the artist singing through the crowd. 

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation will produce the halftime show for the second straight year. The league partnered with the rapper and business mogul in 2019 to team up on music and come up with a social justice campaign. 

Some artists — most famously Rhianna — have balked at playing the Super Bowl halftime show over free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick not having a job in the NFL.

In the past, The Weeknd has issued support for Kaepernick, who was the first player to take a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. He donated $200,000 to Kaepernick’s “Legal Defense Initiative”” in June.

A HUGE thank you to @theweeknd for donating $200,000 to our Legal Defense Initiative to support Freedom Fighters on the ground,” Kaepernick tweeted. “This is amazing.”

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