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The Weeknd promises to ‘keep it PG’ during Super Bowl halftime show

Edgy pop star says his performance will spill beyond the field into other parts of the Tampa stadium.

The Weeknd performs at Lollapalooza in Chicago in 2018.
Sun-Times file

The Weeknd may be known for his graphic music videos and performances featuring blood and violence, but the three-time Grammy winner says he will tone down his act during the Super Bowl halftime show.

The pop star said he will “keep it PG” during his headliner slot on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. He promised to be “respectful to the viewers.”

The 2021 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show will be different this year due to the pandemic, and The Weeknd said he will use different parts of the stadium as well as the field. But he would not be drawn into specifics of his show. “You have to watch on Sunday,” he said.

When asked for his favorite Super Bowl halftime show, he cited Diana Ross’ 1996 performance. She was lowered to the stage by a crane of sparklers, hundreds of dancers spelled out her name on the field, she made three costume changes and she left via helicopter.

“The show just makes me smile,” said The Weeknd.

The Weeknd broke through into the mainstream with his smash hit “Can’t Feel My Face” that was featured on his second studio album, “Beauty Behind the Madness,” which topped the Billboard 200 in 2015 and won a Grammy. He’s had three other chart-topping albums including his recent offering “After Hours,” which was released in March.

Last year, The Weeknd’s hit single “Blinding Lights” became his fifth song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He’s also won Grammys for his album “Starboy” and the song “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey).”

The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, joins a list of celebrated musicians who have played during Super Bowl halftime shows, including Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Beyoncé, Coldplay, Katy Perry, U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson and last year’s duo of Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.