The Weeknd, the artist chosen for this year’s Super Bowl halftime show, to be held in Tampa, Florida on February 7, he’s going to spend 5.7 million euros ($ 7 million) out of pocket to make the show “just how he imagined it”, according to his representative, Wassim ‘Sal’ Slaiby.
In an interview in Billboard magazine, Canadian The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, Slaiby and two other members of the team discussed their performance in the Super Bowl, the final of the American football league, in the United States. The bar is very high, because it is last year two Latinas, Jennifer López and Shakira dazzled millions of people who saw the show broadcast from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
“We always had the Super Bowl on our bucket list, and we always set deadlines for all the goals we have. This is it. arrived a few earlier than expected“said Amir ‘Cash’ Esmailian, another member of the quartet behind The Weeknd, of which La Mar C. Taylor is also a member. All four are the founders of XO Records, the record label that has been behind The Weeknd. since its inception in the early years of the past decade.
The 30-year-old Canadian artist’s performance will last less than 15 minutes as usual in this event that goes beyond sport and which this year is marked by the covid-19, so the capacity of the Raymond James Stadium, with capacity for 75,000 spectators, will be limited to about 22,000.
Although the organizers as usual will cover the production costs, The Weeknd will put seven million dollars out of his pocket so that people who watch it on television can have a “cinematic experience”in the words of Slaiby, who did not elaborate on the show.
Those experiences are what The Weeknd has brought to its audience during the pandemic through digital platforms. “We want to do that at the Super Bowl,” said the artist himself, a three-time Grammys winner.
When last November it was announced that he was chosen to perform in Super Bowl number 55, which will be played by the Tampa Buccaneers and the Oklahoma Chiefs, The Weeknd claimed that he grew up watching top artists perform on that “iconic stage.” and dreaming of being “in that position.” He also declared himself “honored and ecstatic” to have that opportunity.
In 2020 The Weeknd accused the Grammy awards of being corrupt and of being chosen through a process that is not transparent, after he failed to achieve any nominations despite being one of the big favorites. “The Grammys are still corrupt. They owe transparency to me, my fans and the industry … “, the artist tweeted hours after the Recording Academy of the United States announced its candidates for the 63rd edition of the awards, which will be presented on 31 January 2021.
The Weeknd’s absence from the Grammys – his name does not appear in any of the more than 80 categories – was received by surprise among the international music press, as his latest album ‘After Hours’, from which singles such as ‘Blinding Lights’, is considered one of the best works of the year.