by: Farrell Sweeney
by: Farrell Sweeney
Feb 5, 2021
Super Bowl LV viewers shouldn’t expect any special guests at the 2021 Pepsi halftime show, The Weeknd told NFL Network in a recent interview. In the time since the After Hours album maker’s confirmation as the halftime performer in the fall of 2020, many have speculated that additional artists—namely two-helmet sporting electronic DJs—would grace the stage alongside the seasoned crooner.
Conjectures that Daft Punk could join The Weeknd at the halftime show swelled to an all-time high when fans pointed out that the tracklist for the vocalist’s second greatest hits album, The Highlights, could easily double as a setlist for his Super Bowl booking. The Highlights, slated to release on February 5 in anticipation of the halftime show, notably includes The Weeknd’s two Daft Punk features, “I Feel It Coming” and “Starboy.”
However, the Canadian artist debunked this fan-fueled theory in his NFL Network interview, stating,
“I’ve been reading a lot of rumors. There wasn’t any room to fit it in the narrative and the story I was telling in the performance. So, there’s no special guests, no.”
Special guests have been a customary part of the halftime performance in Super Bowl history, but The Weeknd performing alone would not be an entirely new approach for the show. In recent years, artists ranging from Travis Scott to Beyoncé to Mark Ronson and Bad Bunny have invited guests to share the stage; however, Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake elected to perform alone during the 2017 and 2018 halftime shows, respectively.
Although special guests might be an unlikely part of The Weeknd’s performance, this does not diminish what he’s got in store for fans. His manager Wassim “Sal” Slaiby recently confirmed that The Weeknd fronted $7 million of his own money to “make this halftime show be what he envisioned.” What that entails? We’ll all just have to wait and see.
Featured image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS