The Weeknd to ‘tone down’ graphic style for Super Bowl half-time show

Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter
·2-min read

The Weeknd plans to tone down his often graphic performance style for the Super Bowl half-time show.

The R&B superstar said he wanted to be “respectful” to viewers at home and had created a concert that was “PG for the families” while still featuring his usual dramatic visual concepts.

The Canadian artist, real name Abel Tesfaye, has incorporated blood, violence and decapitation into his recent music videos as a comment on fame and celebrity culture.

Speaking during a press conference ahead of the show this weekend, he was asked whether he planned to “tone down” his style for the “family event”.

He said: “Yeah, for sure. I definitely want to be respectful to the viewers at home.

“I will still incorporate some of the storyline. It is a very cohesive story I have been telling throughout this era and throughout this year.

“The story will continue but definitely we will keep it PG for the families. Definitely. I will try my best.”

Watch: The Weeknd Finally Explained His Face Bandages

He memorably attended the American Music Awards in November with bandages covering his face and fake bruising around his eyes.

And in the music video for Save Your Tears, he simulated the effects of plastic surgery with a thinned nose, bloated cheekbones and a puffed-up pout.

The 91st Academy Awards – Vanity Fair Party – Los Angeles
Diana Ross (Ian West/PA)

The star said he had been watching Diana Ross’ half-time show in 1996 at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, in preparation for the big day, as well as similar performances by Michael Jackson, Prince and Beyonce.

He said: “I don’t know what technically the greatest is but my favourite is definitely Diana Ross 1996. She is just so glamorous and the show just makes me smile.

“She has a great exit with the helicopter, when she lands in the middle of the field, grabs on to it and flies out into the clouds. I wish I could have done that. I wish I had thought of it to be honest.”

The Weeknd follows in the recent footsteps of Shakira and Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Coldplay and Katy Perry in filling the coveted slot.

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation company is executive producing the half-time show for a second year.

The performance will take place on February 7 at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Watch: The Weeknd To Make Stop At Wells Fargo Center During World Tour