The True MVPS of the Super Bowl: Miley Cyrus and the Weeknd

By: Emma Sweeney

Miley Cyrus held the first pre-Super Bowl tailgate show on Tik Tok. Following a year of creative problem solving due to COVID- 19, a live concert on social media was inevitable, and perhaps is a glimpse into the future of concerts.

             While the performance was live on Tik Tok, Miley performed in Tampa Bay for 7,500 vaccinated health care workers- all invited by the NFL.

During the show, Miley said, “This is my first show in about a year, and I couldn’t imagine a better way to do this than in Tampa, surrounded by healthcare heroes. We are so appreciative of you and all your diligence.”

             She sang songs ranging from her past hits such as “The Climb” and “Wrecking Ball” to “Bad Karma,” which is from her new album that was released in the middle of a pandemic- Plastic Hearts.

             She choked up during “Wrecking Ball,” her break up anthem about her tumultuous relationship with now ex-husband, Liam Hemsworth.

             Miley also channeled her 80s influences on stage. She opened with the song “Hey Mickey” by Toni Basil replaced with “Hey Miley.” She performed alongside Joan Jett and Billy Idol, who were featured on her new album. Alongside them, she transitioned to their hits, including “Bad Reputation” and “White Wedding.”

             Miley dressed in a black and pink rhinestone cheerleading outfit, matching the aesthetic of her Plastic Hearts rocker album, with the letter’s FTW on it (which stands for “for the win”) and later changed to a black and pink bedazzled football uniform.

Furthermore, Miley was not the only star performing at the Super Bowl, The Weeknd took center stage during the half-time show. The Weeknd, a 3-time Grammy award winner, seemed like a shoe- in for the half-time performance. He is one of the few singers to go solo for the show, not having any guest appearances.

             He sang his hits, “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Starboy,” and ending the performance with a showstopping version of “Blinding Lights.”

             The Weeknd wore his classic red sparkling suit backed up by dancers in the same getup with white masks.

The pressure was present, though, as he had to follow iconic performances such as Lady Gaga jumping from the ceiling onto the stage, Katy Perry riding a gigantic lion, and to Madonna entering the field on a golden throne.

             Wanting to dazzle the audience like entertainers before him, “[The Weeknd] planned to spend $7 million of his own money to enhance the performance,” wrote The New York Times.

             The duration of the concert was on a stage located in the stands, unlike most half time shows which have had the stage on the field. For the finale, which included a large firework display and a spectacle of shining lights, the Weeknd moved to the field, surrounded by many dancers.  

This year was different from previous performances as the global pandemic prohibited from the fans cheering on the field, and the stands being relatively empty, but both Miley Cyrus and The Weeknd did their part by entertaining with the best of their ability in a year of uncertainty.

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