The Weeknd put on a spectacular performance for the half-time show at Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, but it was still slated by viewers. There were no real complaints about the show the Canadian singer put on, as he played a medley of hits including the huge hit Blinding Lights, but viewers were shocked by the sound quality and slammed producers as they 'couldn't hear him'.
The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, was the first performer at the showcase event in the final game of the NFL season, to perform solo with no star guests but he had plenty of company after being joined by hundreds of dancers.
While it looked good, his voice struggled to be heard above the music and this irked viewers enough for them to take to Twitter in droves to share their angst. One viewer tweeted: "Is it me or does the weeknd sound terrible right now?"
Another added: "that weeknd performance sounded awful. I blame the sound guy."
A third joked: "Hey at least we know he was live! The Weeknd handled it super well but I'm so deaf I had to turn up my surround sound"
Another viewer tweeted: "somebody who hates the weeknd did the sound for his performance bc i could not hear him for s**t."
It has been reported that the singer paid $7 million of his own money to land the half-time gig and, in fact, no artist has been paid to perform at the showcase event.
Performances have cost upwards of $10million in the past, and while the NFL does cover the expenses for the show's production costs - including lighting, the sound system, any pyrotechnics, complex staging and extras, like Lady Gaga's trapeze equipment back in 2017 - the artists themselves don't get paid a penny.
In fact, the NFL previously toyed with the idea of charging big stars to play the Super Bowl based on how much exposure it gives them, and how it can send their records soaring up the charts. After Gaga's headline performance, her total album sales jumped by 2,000%, while in 2018, Justin Timberlake saw his music sales spike by 534%.
Despite the sound issues, The Weeknd will be hoping that it will pay off for him as well.