The Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime performance was met with mixed reviews from fans, but there was something everyone was in agreement over.
What was up with those bandages everyone was wearing? Well, luckily, we finally have an answer…
There’s a message behind it all, and it makes plenty of sense…
Keep scrolling to find out what it is…
Now, if you didn’t know, The Weeknd (also known as Abel Tesfaye) is an R&B sensation.
The Canadian-born singer-songwriter is one of the leading figures in the music industry.
The star broke into the music scene in 2011 with his mixtape, House of Balloons.
Even in the early days, he managed to work with some pretty high profile artists including Drake and Wiz Khalifa, while still finding his feet within the industry.
His musical success skyrocketed with his 2015 album, Beauty Behind the Madness.
The album brought us the global hit single “Can’t Feel My Face,” which has drawn in comparison to the likes of Michael Jackson, hit no 1 on the Billboard chart, and went on to rank as the best song of the year.
His follow-up album, Starboy, also enjoyed critical success.
In late November 2016, the Weeknd released his third album, Starboy, featuring star-studded guest appearances from the likes of Lana Del Rey, Future, and Kendrick Lamar.
There’s absolutely no denying that the star is a hitmaker!
But he has also been in the public eye for his turbulent love life.
The star has been in an on-off relationship with model, Bella Hadid, since the pair linked up in 2015.
According to E! News, the pair made it official in May 2015 after hanging out together at Coachella the previous month.
But it didn’t take long for their relationship to hit a rocky patch.
The same year they made it official, they reportedly took a break due to their busy schedules and opted to celebrate Christmas separately. Yikes.
It was the first of many hurdles for the famous pair…
And in February 2016, the couple appeared to be back on when they hit the Grammys red carpet together, and then the following month, looked extremely loved-up as they posed for snaps at the Daily Front Row’s Fashion Los Angeles Awards.
But it wasn’t to be after the couple were reported to have split again shortly afterward.
The pair had an awkward post-breakup reunion on the Victoria’s Secret runway stage.
Just 2 weeks after their breakup, The Weeknd released his highly acclaimed album, Starboy, and took to the stage at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, where his ex happened to be strutting her stuff.
When asked about the reunion, Bella claimed that it wasn’t awkward at all: “He is my best friend, and I am excited because I am walking during his performance.”
This time, the split was serious…
And The Weeknd even moved on, coupling up with singer Selena Gomez.
But it didn’t take long for the R&B star and Bella to get on friendly terms again when in late-2017, the singer was pictured leaving Bella’s apartment.
Throughout 2018, the couple were rumored to be back on.
The pair were spotting kissing on various occasions and were even spotted going on a date.
But after a number of strong months, the couple called it quits (again) and this time, it seemed to be for good.
And in true post-breakup style, The Weekend showcased a drastic makeover last year.
In a rare red carpet appearance, the R&B powerhouse attended the premiere of his feature film debut, Uncut Gems, at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
But the star was looking notably different…
The “I Feel It Coming” singer made quite a few changes to his signature look, which has hardly changed over the years – opting to trade his usual full-grown beard for a mustache and swapping out his hairdo completely.
He still rocked it, of course…
And with an appearance change up…
Always comes new music. And we were right, because he soon dropped After Hours shortly after teasing it on his socials.
However, it seems as though he’s going through something currently…
Because his appearance has drastically changed over the past few months.
At the time of the new look’s debut, he explained his bizarre outfit choice.
“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,” he told Esquire.
“But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”
But while a lot of us hoped it would just be an “aesthetic” he was using to promote an important social issue, it seemed to have gone on for a surprisingly long time.
Because then we were graced with his new “post-surgery” look in his latest music video “Save Your Tears.”
And we weren’t on board with it…
Many were speculating whether or not this is real surgery or if it’s just prosthetics…
Either way, it’s pretty grotesque if you ask me.
Here is a wild close-up.
Let’s just say we were all left speechless seeing him like this.
But after all the backlash, the singer came out to explain the thought process behind his new face in an interview with Jem Aswad at Variety.
She asks the singer: “What does this mean/symbolizes?” to which he replied: “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.”
She then asks: “What can we take from the fact that you seem to be intentionally making your face increasingly unattractive while promoting your biggest album?”
“I suppose you could take that being attractive isn’t important to me but a compelling narrative is.”
“Sometimes you appear in photos or on TV and videos in character, sometimes not. Why?” She continues.
“Why not play with the character and the artist and let those lines blur and move around?”
So there we have it, he’s playing a character in a so-called storyline…
So upon receiving that confirmation, we were so excited to see what he was going to do at today’s big event…
Since it was announced that the singer would be playing the half-time show at the Super Bowl, we’ve all been speculating what is in store for us.
Leading up to the big night, we already had some spoilers about the anticipated performance.
In an interview, the show’s producer, Jesse Collins said this ahead of today’s big game: “It’s all happening in that stadium, in that moment,” Collins told Entertainment Tonight. “We’re not bouncing off to another stadium and then cutting in, like some people have had to do (before). We are fortunate enough in this situation that we are able to do a live, live show.”
“It’s gotta be about entertainment from a truthful perspective. Get away from the massive sets, all the hoopla, the flying this and that. And get to the core of what makes an artist special.”
He also added this:
“We started creating this thing back in September, and the message of it really worked out. The world worked out for the message that The Weeknd wants to communicate in this performance… It’s definitely a very special show.”
Special is definitely correct.
It seems as though his narrative carried on into tonight’s performance as his back-up dancers all sported the same bandaged look. We’re loving the dedication to the underlying storyline.
Here’s a little snippet of his performance:
Stay tuned for regular updates on the Super Bowl…