The Canadian superstar capped a year of massive chart success by performing in the coveted half-time slot, with a set lacking none of the usual spectacle despite the limited attendance.
About 25,000 fans – including 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers – were allowed inside the Raymond James Stadium, which has a capacity of 65,890. The rest of the crowd was made of cut-outs.
The singer’s set opened with him seated against the backdrop of a cityscape populated by backing dancers dressed as gospel singers, before he launched into his 2016 hit, Starboy, followed by The Hills.
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Other hits in The Weeknd’s spectacular set included I Feel It Coming and Save Your Tears, before he was joined by a small army of backing dancers – all dressed in his trademark red jacket and bandages – for his 2020 mega hit Blinding Lights.
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The Super Bowl, one of the year’s biggest cultural events in the US, featured the usual Hollywood star power, with blockbuster film trailers and celebrity-filled adverts appearing during the many commercial breaks.
A 30-second slot reportedly cost about 5.5 million dollars (£4 million).
Matthew McConaughey appeared as a flat version of himself in an ad for Doritos 3D while Will Ferrell, Awkwafina and Kenan Thompson promoted car maker General Motors.
Post Malone joined Cedric The Entertainer for a Bud Light promotion while Drake and Paul Rudd starred in an advert for State Farm insurance.
Brad Pitt voiced a teaser building up a game that had been billed as Brady – one of the greatest American footballers ever – against the league’s current leading star Mahomes.
Before the game, singer-songwriter H.E.R. performed America The Beautiful while country music star Eric Church was joined by singer Jazmine Sullivan for the US national anthem.
Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet who garnered worldwide attention after starring during last month’s presidential inauguration, also performed before the game started.