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The Weeknd crosses off bucket list item with Super Bowl halftime show

It’s fitting Abel Tesfaye will play the biggest gig of his career on a Sunday.

The superstar performer, better known as pop R&B chart-topper The Weeknd, will headline the Super Bowl halftime show.

Tesfaye, 30, has said the role is one of the items on his bucket list as an entertainer, though his manager conceded in an interview with Billboard that it has come ahead of schedule.

Perhaps that is why Tesfaye and his team have decided to go so big with their plans for the event.

He told the magazine he is putting up $7 million of his own money above and beyond the allotted budget to make the performance even more spectacular.

Expect him to take full advantage of the extra space in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, which will have just 22,000 fans in attendance.

“We’ve been really focusing on dialing in on the fans at home and making performances a cinematic experience, and we want to do that with the Super Bowl,” Tesfaye said.

He has thrived on big stages during the pandemic.

Tesfaye delivered an epic performance of mega-hit “Blinding Lights” on top of a skyscraper in New York for the VMAs in the summer, then followed it up by doing “In Your Eyes” with Kenny G on a bridge over downtown Los Angeles for the American Music Awards in November.

Speculation has raged online about which A-list entertainers will make cameo appearances during the halftime show. He has collaborated with many of the biggest names in the business across all genres, and it’s clear he wants to make it a big event for the more than 100 million people expected to tune in.

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

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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