Despite winning big at the American Music Awards in late November, Canadian artist Abel Tesfaye—stage name: the Weeknd—received not a single nomination two days later when the 2021 Grammys were announced. The Weeknd’s 2020 album After Hours, his fourth, saw one of the biggest debut weeks of any album that year with two singles—”Heartless” and “Blinding Lights”—going platinum. The nomination snub left the Weeknd gutted. He described that day as a “sucker punch.”
While the Weeknd had a performance planned for the Grammys, he decided not to attend. He had been working on another performance as well—the Super Bowl LV halftime show, then set to take place a week after the Grammy Awards (the awards have since been moved to March).
The halftime show is the result of over six months of work and preparation, including $7 million of his the Weeknd’s own money. The show will likely feature many of the Weednd’s hit singles from After Hours, making the halftime show something like the Grammy performance that never happened. Their loss.
How much is the Weeknd making at the Super Bowl halftime show?
Nothing. The NFL does not pay performers for the halftime show, though they do help cover production costs, which can top $10 million—a lot for only a 12-15 minute show. Still, the Weeknd must have felt the NFL’s budget wasn’t enough to bring his performance vision to life—thus the additional $7 million he’s putting into the performance. His contribution can only mean fans are in for a real Show.
Even without payment for the performance, however, artists can still make money just through exposure alone. The Super Bowl halftime audience can be as large as 100 million. After Justin Timberlake performed in 2018, his music sales shot up 534 percent. So the Weeknd is likely to make back that $7 million and some.
What’s the Weeknd’s net worth?
Unfortunately, the Weeknd was forced to cancel his tour for that album due to COVID-19. Those super fans and early buyers of the album will have to wait another year for the tour. Ahead of the Super Bowl, the Weeknd announced new dates for the After Hours World Tour, now set for 2022.
Until then, there’s always the quarter hour and possibly $17 million halftime show. The Grammys can suck it.
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