Most Super Bowl Halftime Shows are Lip-Synced — Will The Weeknd Lip-Sync?

Some of the most iconic moments at Super Bowl halftime shows in the past were lip-synced. It’s very common for bands and singers to pre-record music and vocals to simulate a live performance during the halftime show and the National Anthem. So, the question remains, will Canadian artist Abel Tesfaye, AKA The Weeknd, lip-sync his Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 7, 2021?

Super Bowl Halftime Show perform The Weeknd will not lip-sync
Super Bowl halftime show performer The Weeknd | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret

Many Super Bowl halftime shows are lip-synced

In the past, many Super Bowl halftime shows were lip-synced. In 2014, three out of the four members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers pre-recorded their music for the halftime show. However, the band members unplugged their instruments so that fans could see they were not trying to trick them. Bruno Mars was the only one of his group who performed live.

The 2014 Super Bowl Halftime Show with the Red Hot Chili Peppers | Theo Wargo/FilmMagic

Katy Perry admitted in 2015 that some of her performance was live, but some was also pre-recorded. During the 2020 halftime show, many fans pointed out that J.Lo and Shakira looked like lip-syncing. One fan even noticed that their mouths didn’t fit the lyrics. So, it’s probable they were also lip-syncing. 

Why the Super Bowl halftime show is lip-synced

Commonly, performers at the Super Bowl halftime show lip sync. Live performances are usually rare because of all the time it takes to set up and break down the show. During a typical NFL game, halftime is only about 12 to 15 minutes long. However, for the Super Bowl, they extend the break to 30 minutes to allow for performances. 

The Weeknd on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
The Weeknd on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert | Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

When singers and bands perform for stadiums as large as the Super Bowl, it usually takes hours to set up the stage and sound system. However, during the halftime show, the crew must set up everything in a matter of minutes. There are plenty of things that could go wrong. Therefore, most performers opt to pre-record the music and some, if not all, vocals for their set.

“A lot of the (Super Bowl) bands want to play live, but you just can’t do it,” Super Bowl music audio supervisor Mike Stahl of Audiotek told the San Diego Tribune.

Super Bowl 2021: Will The Weeknd lip-sync?

In a recent interview with The Weeknd’s concert producer, Jesse Collins, fans found out that the 2021 halftime show will not be lip-synced or pre-recorded. 

The Weeknd ahead of the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show
The Weeknd ahead of the 2021 halftime show | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TW

“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.”

The Weeknd wants to cut out the large sets and extraneous props to get back to the basics of music. He wants to show fans what makes him unique. So, he will perform the Super Bowl 55 halftime show completely live. The show will air on Feb. 7, 2021, around 8:30 p.m. EST.