Staggering cost of Weeknd’s Super Bowl show
The Weeknd's aiming for the long game for this year's Super Bowl halftime show.
Pivoting from the usual 13-minute halftime spectacular, the 30-year-old performer, who is headlining this year, will drag his February 7 performance on for a whopping 24 minutes, according to Billboard.
The Weeknd is hoping to make his show a more "cinematic experience," he told the publication. He put in $9.1 million of his own money to "make this halftime show be what he envisioned," his manager, Wassim "Sal" Slaiby, said.
The Weeknd remained mum on what exactly the money will be spent on, or the setlist he expects to perform. However, a teaser for the show features a montage of fans enjoying Blinding Lights, including a grocery store worker and a pool cleaner dancing to his tune like no one's watching.
Right at the end, The Weeknd flashes a smile to a toll booth security guard who was interrupted grooving to the hit.
This comes after Pepsi, which sponsors the halftime show, announced that it was joining other advertisers in scaling back their Super Bowl 2021 commercials.
The soda company said it would instead focus on its halftime show featuring the Grammy-winning, TikTok dance-inspiring Blinding Lights performer.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, has been staging an elaborate lead-up to his performance at Florida's Tampa Bay's Raymond James Stadium, appearing in public with an increasingly beat-up face.
The schtick carried into his latest music video for Save Your Tears, which featured him with some disturbing CGI plastic surgery.
Though he later appeared to have his old face back again in a trailer for the Super Bowl, fans have begun to wonder what new look he might unveil at this year's show.
The hype around his now-longer halftime performance follows a disappointing lack of Grammy 2021 nominations, despite the commercial success of his latest album, After Hours, which spawned countless viral dance videos on TikTok with the hit single Blinding Lights.
Typically, the halftime show, valued at about $17 million, requires months of planning to pull off.
This year's show comes with the added complication of the coronavirus pandemic, which has pared down the size of the stadium's audience by about a third.
Last year's halftime show, headlined by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, drew about 102 million viewers.
This story originally appeared on NY Post and has been reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Staggering cost of Weeknd's Super Bowl show