The Canadian singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, has performed recently with his face covered in bandages and released gory videos, including one in which two women come across his disembodied head as part of his performance art storyline.
While being mostly tight-lipped about the details for his show during Sunday’s NFL championship game in Tampa, Florida, The Weeknd did say it will be toned down significantly from a graphic standpoint.
“I definitely want to be respectful to the viewer at home,” The Weeknd told a news conference.
“I will still incorporate some of the storyline. It’s a very cohesive story I am telling throughout this era and throughout this year so the story will continue but definitely will keep it PG for the families.”
Appearing at the Super Bowl is considered the music industry’s top promotional platform with Lady Gaga, Prince, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and the Rolling Stones among previous performers.
The Weeknd, 30, began his recording career in 2010 and had hits with R&B songs such as “Can’t Feel My Face”, “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights.” He has won three Grammy Awards and nine Billboard music awards.
While most performers during the Super Bowl, which is the most watched television event of the year in the United States, spend their entire 12-minute set confined to an on-field stage, The Weeknd will also use the surrounding area.
“Due to the COVID and for the safety of the players and the workers we kind of built a stage within the stadium,” he said.
“We’re also using the field as well but we wanted to kind of do something that we’ve never done before.
“I’m not going to tell you anything ‘cuz you have to watch on Sunday.” Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond