Super Bowl 55 halftime show: With The Weeknd headlining, here’s an ideal setlist for the performance

The Weeknd is coming to Super Bowl 55.

On Nov. 12, The Weeknd announced that he’ll be headlining the Super Bowl 55 halftime show, following the electric Super Bowl 54 halftime show that featured Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.

The Weeknd has big shoes to fill, but if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s him: The three-time Grammy award winner boasts a wide-ranging stylistic catalogue of music that attracts listeners from all over the musical spectrum. From upbeat pop bops to mellow, risque R&B hits, he can do it all, and he’ll have the opportunity to showcase that on Feb. 7.

Couple his sound with his one-of-a-kind performing style, and there’s no doubt that The Weeknd will put on a hell of a performance at the Super Bowl 55 halftime show, whether or not there will be fans in the stands in Raymond Jaymes Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

But what will he perform? What should he perform? It’s not easy to navigate: While his R-rated catalogue isn’t entirely suited for cable television, and with just about 20 minutes to make an impression, there are still plenty of options — edited or not — that he could wail out and get the crowd (or lack of one) moving.

Here’s a quick list of what he can get away with:

‘Can’t Feel My Face’

Arguably the most well-known of The Weeknd’s catalogue, the 2015 hit was nominated for two Grammy awards and was widely considered to be one of the best songs of the year. With this song on the more pop side of The Weeknd’s catalogue, it’s a good crowd-pleaser and a solid opener to keep fans near their TVs and away from their fifth helping of chips and dip.

‘Starboy’

The first song off 2016’s “Starboy,” the song became a hit because of the collaboration with Daft Punk. A little on the darker side, the song tackles The Weeknd’s (real name Abel Tesfaye) wrestling with newfound stardom and the excesses of life. While it’s sonically catchy, lyrically it’s a little bit deeper than people might expect.

‘Pretty’

Though the song is definitely on the more risque side of The Weeknd’s discography, his set wouldn’t exactly feel complete without the ethereal, dulcet, mature tone that die-hard Weeknd fans really know and appreciate. 

Off 2013’s “Kiss Land,” “Pretty” is pretty exemplary of The Weeknd’s sound and uniqueness in the music world today. Would it get you up and moving? Not really, but as a cool-down prior to the finale, it would be a perfect song to transition.

‘In Your Eyes’

Upbeat and fun, “In Your Eyes” was the third single off the 2020 “After Hours” album. The tone feels a bit like Bruno Mars, who also had a pretty killer halftime show at Super Bowl 50. 

Lyrically deep as juxtaposed to the saccharine sound, “In Your Eyes” is said to reference The Weeknd’s relationship with model Bella Hadid, with whom the Weeknd has had an on-again-off-again relationship.

‘Pray for Me’

Off the soundtrack of “Black Panther,” “Pray for Me” went double-platinum in the United States. Of course, The Weeknd would need some help from Kendrick Lamar, who has a few verses in the song.

With no word of who The Weeknd may be performing with — as is custom at Super Bowl halftime shows — Lamar might be a surprise, and welcome, addition to the show.

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