The Weeknd hasn’t revealed many details regarding his Super Bowl 55 halftime show, leading to a great deal of chatter about what we should expect from the Canadian crooner.
Which songs will be featured? Will any special guests join him? Oh, and one small thing, what the hell is going on with his face?
As part of the rollout for his most recent album, “After Hours,” The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) decided to play a character in his music videos and during some public appearances. In each piece of new content from the album, the character has undergone significant aesthetic changes, sparking rumors The Weeknd had a surgical procedure done on his face.
Before the 30-year-old singer takes the Super Bowl stage, let’s clear up the confusion.
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The Weeknd’s ‘After Hours’ character
The character’s saga began in the “Heartless” music video, which showed him in a drunken stupor as he made his way through Las Vegas. Then the character appeared bloodied in the “Blinding Lights” video.
“[‘Blinding Lights’ is about] how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights, but nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely,” The Weeknd told Esquire in August. “I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”
It didn’t get much better for the character when The Weeknd released additional videos for “After Hours,” “In Your Eyes” and “Until I Bleed Out.” He also made appearances on late night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live.” Throughout this run of singles, The Weeknd declined to divulge information about the character, instead leaving viewers to analyze the storyline for themselves.
“This character is having a really bad night — all these videos are taking place in one night — and you can come with your own interpretation of what it is,” The Weeknd told Variety in April.
Social media really lit up when The Weeknd arrived at the 2020 American Music Awards with his head covered in bandages. That performance turned out to be a precursor for the character’s most dramatic change.
In the “Save Your Tears” music video, the character emerged with a completely different face, the result of an apparent plastic surgery disaster.
“The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrity and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated,” The Weeknd told Variety ahead of his Super Bowl halftime show, adding that, “It’s all a progression and we watch the character’s storyline hit heightened levels of danger and absurdity as his tale goes on.”
Did The Weeknd get plastic surgery?
No, The Weeknd did not actually get plastic surgery. He is committed to creating a “cinematic experience,” but he didn’t take it that far.
Prosthetic Renaissance designer Mike Marino revealed in an Instagram post how he created the “Save Your Tears” look that fooled plenty of fans.
When asked during Super Bowl media availability if he plans to incorporate the character into his performance, The Weeknd said the story will continue, but he wants to “keep it PG for the families.”
“You’re gonna have to see on Sunday,” The Weeknd said. “I don’t like to spoonfeed the audience. Hopefully they can pick up some of their own theories and conclusions of what the show is saying and the story I’m telling and the performance.”
The Weeknd’s face changes in photos
“In Your Eyes”
“Until I Bleed Out”
American Music Awards
“Save Your Tears”