In keeping with a year unlike any other in memory, the NFL’s Super Bowl half-time show was a little different in its 2021 iteration — but no less of a spectacle.
The show, headlined by Canadian pop star The Weeknd, was adjusted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and marked the second half-time show produced in part by Jay-Z and Roc Nation.
Traditionally, artists perform at Super Bowls from a stage positioned in the middle of the field, swarmed by fans. Instead, The Weeknd, who said he spent $7 million of his own money to enhance the performance, sang his chart-topping hits from a stage in the stands.
Here are the must-see moments — and reactions to them — from Super Bowl LV’s half-time show.
— ladies and gentlemen, the weekend (@CraigWeekend) February 8, 2021
Scarborough to the Super Bowl @theweeknd
— Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore) February 8, 2021
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) February 8, 2021
— ERIK NAGEL (@erockradio) February 8, 2021
— Bryndon Minter (@Bryndon) February 8, 2021
The non-football festivities of the Super Bowl were remarkable before half-time, too.
Amanda Gorman, the youth poet laureate who recited a poem during the inauguration of president Joe Biden, read a new poem called “Chorus of the Captains,” honouring community heroes everywhere.
R&B singer H.E.R., whose real name is Gabriella Wilson, donned a bedazzled jacket and performed an electric rendition of “America the Beautiful” alongside deaf D.C. rapper Warren “WAWA” Snipe. The song was first published in 1910 and grew to be among the most famous, and popular, of the United States patriotic songs.
Country music star Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan teamed up for the national anthem.
— NFL (@NFL) February 7, 2021