What to expect from The Weeknd's Super Bowl halftime show

ANDREA DRESDALE
·2 min read

The Weeknd will be headlining Sunday's Super Bowl halftime show, but don't expect him to push any boundaries in the most-watched musical performance of the year.

He explained at a press conference on Thursday that he'll be toning down some of his music's visuals -- and that he'll be performing somewhere other than in the middle of the field.

"Due to the COVID and for the safety of the players and the workers, we kind of built the stage within the stadium," the Canadian singer said. "We're also using the field as well, but we wanted to kind of do something that we've never done before."

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Asked if he plans to sanitize the sometimes violent, bloody and disturbing imagery he's created over the past year while promoting his album, "After Hours," The Weeknd said, "Yeah, for sure. ... I definitely wanna be respectful to the viewers at home."

"I will still incorporate some of the storyline," he added. "It's a very cohesive story I've been telling throughout this era ... and so the story will continue, but definitely we'll keep it PG for the families."

PHOTO: This photo provided by the NFL shows singer The Weeknd speaking at the halftime press conference ahead of the Super Bowl 55 football game, Feb. 4, 2021, in Tampa, Fla.  (Perry Knotts/AP)
PHOTO: This photo provided by the NFL shows singer The Weeknd speaking at the halftime press conference ahead of the Super Bowl 55 football game, Feb. 4, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (Perry Knotts/AP)

During the press conference, The Weeknd was surprised to learn that he'll have the honor of being the first Canadian to headline the halftime show solo. The previous Canadian performers, Shania Twain and Dan Aykroyd, were part of larger bills.

As for inspiration, The Weeknd said his all-time favorite halftime performance was by Diana Ross in 1996.

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"She's just so glamorous ... and she has a great exit with the helicopter," he gushed. "She ... grabs onto it and flies out into the clouds. It's like, 'I wish I could have done that. I wish I thought of it!'"

Brian McCarthy, vice president of communications for the NFL, joked that they still have time, but The Weeknd responded, "I don't think I have enough money to do it, to be honest!"

What to expect from The Weeknd's Super Bowl halftime show originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com