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The Weeknd to perform during Super Bowl halftime show

The singer-songwriter is "humbled, honored and ecstatic" to be performing the halftime show at Super Bowl 55 in February.
/ Source: TODAY

The Weeknd will be one of the highlights of Super Bowl weekend next year as the halftime performer at this season's big game.

The NFL announced Thursday that the popular R&B singer and songwriter will take the stage at halftime of Super Bowl 55 on Feb. 7, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida.

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"We all grow up watching the world's biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position. I'm humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year," The Weeknd said in a news release.

The honor for the Canadian pop star comes in a year when he has had a No. 1 Billboard album, "After Hours," led by the No. 1 single "Blinding Lights."

The Weeknd, 30, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, will follow last season's halftime performers, pop superstars Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, who brought out special guests Bad Bunny and J Balvin during their showstopping spectacle in Miami as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers.

Other recent halftime headliners have included Maroon 5, Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga.

Looming over the game is the worsening coronavirus crisis across the country. The NFL season has continued during the pandemic, with some teams allowing a limited number of fans in the stadium for games and others banning fans completely.

The Weeknd's performance would be the rare show in front of thousands of fans at a time when the pandemic has caused tours and concerts to be canceled and shuttered across the country, with most acts performing virtually for their fans and others holding concerts at drive-in venues.

The site of the Super Bowl is the home stadium of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have been allowing fans to attend games in a capacity capped at about 16,000 fans in a stadium that holds 65,618 people.

The NFL has not announced its plan for Super Bowl attendance yet, but the Tampa Bay Times reported in October that the league is considering a plan for the stadium to be only 20% full at the Super Bowl, which would mean a little more than 13,000 fans.