These Canadians Did Super Bowl Halftime Shows Before The Weeknd


As reported here last November, The Weeknd will make history on Sunday as the first Canadian solo headliner of a Super Bowl halftime show.

“I didn’t know that. I had no idea,” he said during a virtual press conference on Thursday. “It’s an honour, yeah, it’s a blessing. But I did not know that. Is that a fact? Wow. Definitely an honour, yeah.”

The singer was six-year-old Abel Tesfaye in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough when the first Canadians showed up during a Super Bowl halftime show.

Ottawa’s Dan Aykroyd performed at Super Bowl XXXI in 1997 as Elwood Blues, one-half of The Blues Brothers (with Jim Belushi), while backed by a band led by Paul Shaffer of Thunder Bay, Ont.

Inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, The Blues Brothers performed “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love” and “Soul Man” before turning the stage over to the legendary James Brown and then ZZ Top. All three acts ended the set with “Gimme Some Lovin.”

The Weeknd was just 12 when the next Canadian artist stepped into the spotlight at the big game. The Super Bowl XXXVII halftime show inside Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego kicked off with Ontario-born Shania Twain shouting “Let’s go, football fans!”

The country superstar performed “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “Up!” ahead of No Doubt (“Just a Girl”) and Sting with No Doubt (“Message in a Bottle”).

Rolling Stone described Twain’s performance as “a career-freezing sadgasm.”

The Weeknd said Thursday that COVID-19 precautions forced producers to rethink how the halftime show is staged but promised it will be "a cinematic experience" – and PG-rated.

Football fans betting on Sunday’s game may be interested to know that the last time a Canadian artist did the halftime show, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Oakland Raiders, 48-21.

Super Bowl LV airs Sunday on CTV.

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