Next week, July 8 The Weeknd will play the first date of his ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ world tour at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, MBW reports. His stadium tour will be “the first global concert tour to integrate Web 3.0 technology for an enhanced fan experience”, with cryptocurrency exchange Binance named as the tour’s official sponsor. To mark the launch of the tour, Binance says it will donate $2 million to the XO Humanitarian Fund, which is administered by World Food Program USA.

Four weekends a month
January 23, 2022

The Weeknd breaks record for most Spotify listeners

The Weeknd has now risen to have 85,667,564 monthly listeners on Spotify, becoming the artist with the most monthly listeners on the platform, Hip Hop DX reports. The title had previously been held by Justin Bieber for nearly a year. The feat comes after The Weeknd has released his new album ‘Dawn FM’ earlier this month. 'Dawn FM' has also set a new record for the Billboard Global 200 chart with 24 charting songs, making the most ever by a solo male artist.

The Weeknd's 'Blinding Lights' is the new No. 1 song on Billboard's Greatest Songs of all Time Hot 100 Chart. Billboard talked to The Weeknd and his collaborators to see how they made history. "There was nothing we had heard like that before from Abel" - Monte Lipman of Republic Records says. Yep, it was something different.

Blinding hits
August 03, 2021

The Weeknd: Making great music is a drug

A very interesting interview in GQ with The Weeknd about his identity (does he feel more like Abel, or The Weeknd), drugs, alcohol, children, and making music: "I believe that when anybody is sad, they make better music. They make more emotional music, more honest music. Cathartic, therapeutic music. And I’ve definitely been a victim of wanting to be sad for that, because I’m very aware. I definitely put myself in situations where it’s psychologically self-harming. Because making great music is a drug. It’s an addiction and you want to always have that".

The Weeknd took home 10 awards at the 2021 Billboard Music Award, including top artist and top male artist, Billboard reports. Pop Smoke won five, including top new artist and BTS and Bad Bunny each earned four. P!nk was honored as the Icon, Drake as the artist of the decade and Trae Tha Truth as the Change Maker.

Beauty behind the madness
April 05, 2021

The Weeknd donates $1m in food aid to Ethiopia

“My heart breaks for my people of Ethiopia as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are being senselessly murdered and entire villages are being displaced out of fear and destruction” - The Weeknd wrote on Instagram announcing his donation of $1m in food aid to Ethiopia, amid the ongoing conflict in the country’s Tigray region. This $1 million will provide 2 million meals through the United Nations World Food Program, CNN reports. The singer was born Abel Tesfaye in Canada to Ethiopian immigrant parents, Makkonen and Samra Tesfaye.

The Weeknd has said he will boycott future Grammy Awards after not being shortlisted for a single award this year, the New York Times reports. He said he would remain absent from the event until the Recording Academy, which organizes the awards, got rid of the "secret committees" that decide many of the nominations. The Grammys voting procedures are notoriously opaque, with review committees having the final say in 72 of the 83 categories. The anonymous panels, which can include musicians, record label staff and experts, review the initial choices of the Grammy voters and have the final say over who makes the shortlist.

The Weeknd 'Blinding Lights' becomes the first song in Billboard Hot 100's history (which started in 1958) to spend a year in the top 10, as it logs its 52nd week in the region, Billboard reports. After debuting at No. 11 on the chart dated Nov. 14, 2019, it reached the top 10 on Feb. 29, 2020, and has spent all but two frames in the top tier since (ranking at Nos. 11 and 18 for two weeks in December).

The songs remain the same
February 08, 2021

The Weeknd performs at Super Bowl, puts emphasis on songs

The Weekend was the big star at this year's Super Bowl and, for the first time in the game's 55-year history, he was largely forced to perform from the stands, rather than the pitch. His 12-minute show, which put the emphasis on his songs, was "watched" by thousands of cardboard cut-outs, Rolling Stone reports. The Weeknd spent $7m of his own money on the production, which included a set modelled on the city in Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis'. Rendition of 'America the Beautiful' by H.E.R. was also all about the music - R'n'B singer displayed her powerful voice and added a pyrotechnic guitar solo.

Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and Dan + Shay were the top winners at the American Music Awards, winning three awards each, Variety reports. With three nods from last night, Taylor has now won 32 AMAs, the most awards in the show’s 47-year history (Michael Jackson has 24). Swift won artist of the year for the sixth time, extending her record in that category. She also won favorite female artist - pop/rock for the fifth time, setting a new record in that category; Taylor accepted her awards via video since she is busy re-recording her first six albums. Bieber won favorite male artist - pop/rock for the fourth time, a record. See the full list of all winners - here.

The Weeknd’s 'Blinding Lights' won video of the year at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards. Lady Gaga won the most awards during the night - five - followed closely by Ariana Grande and BTS, with four each. See the list of all the winners and all the nominees here. The Weeknd kicked off the 2020 ceremony with a stellar performance of his hit 'Blinding Lights', performed from above Manhattan.

The Weeknd will perform next week on TikTok in an interactive livestream concert, People reports. The Weeknd Experience will feature the singer as a digital avatar, in an augmented-reality gig created especially for the platform. The unique show, scheduled to take place on August 7th, will mark TikTok's first such concert and will feature 3D graphics and picture-in-picture video. Viewers will also be encouraged to support the campaign to fight racial inequality by donating to the Equal Justice Initiative during the broadcast, with TikTok bosses agreeing to match funds "up to a generous amount".

The Weeknd, Lizzo and John Legend have signed an open letter calling for police budgets to be cut following the death of George Floyd, All Hip Hop reports. The open letter was launched by Patrisse Cullors, one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter and a founding member of the Movement 4 Black Lives (M4BL) and calls for local officials to cut police spending and budgets and instead increase spending on health care, education and community programs.

Jay-Z has published full-page ads in numerous US newspapers honouring tragic Black Lives Matter icon George Floyd, CNN reports. The ad quotes Martin Luther King's 1965 speech to protesters in Selma, Alabama: "A man dies when he refuses to stand up for that which is right... So we’re going to stand up amid horses... We’re going to stand up right here, amid the billy-clubs... We’re going to stand up amid tear gas!". In similar news, The Weeknd has donated $500,000 to a number of organisations that are committed to racial equality, Variety reports. Killer Mike appeared on 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' talking about the same issue, suggesting to white people to "send financial help to some of the organizations... on the ground. Then get your butt down there and help those organizations in the physical" (watch that video here). Speaking broadly about the problem, he added - "what I need white America to do beyond right now is understand that right now is always. It isn't just helping in the now -- it is being a part of fixing it always".

“I always wanted to play a character that was the opposite of the public’s perception of me - and of course make fun of myself" - The Weeknd told Variety about a cartoon version of himself which appeared in a brand new episode of 'American Dad'. He also premiered his new song 'I'm a Virgin' in last night show. The Season 17 episode is built on the premise that Stan kidnaps the Weeknd in an attempt to teach Roger a lesson.

The Weeknd's 'After Hours' remains atop the Billboard 200 in its second week on the charts with 138,000 equivalent album units, while 6 new albums enter the Top 10, as Billboard reports. Australian pop-rock band 5 Seconds of Summer scores its fifth top 10 album on the Billboard 200 chart as 'Calm' surges from No. 62 to No. 2 with 133,000 equivalent album units (up 1,159%). UK pop singer Dua Lipa lands her first top 10 album, as her second effort, 'Future Nostalgia', debuts at No. 4 with 66,000 equivalent album units earned. Grunge veterans Pearl Jam return to the Billboard 200 with their first studio album since 2013, as 'Gigaton' jumps in at No. 5 with 63,000 equivalent album units earned (14,000 copies sold on vinyl, the second-largest week on vinyl for a 2020 release). Canadian r'n'b singer PartyNextDoor lands at No. 8 with 50,000 equivalent album units earned with 'PartyMobile'. American rapper Joyner Lucas makes his chart debut with his first studio album, 'ADHD' selling in 39,000 equivalent album units, enough for No. 10 spot.

The album question
April 03, 2020

To release or not to release new albums?

Dua Lipa / Lady Gaga

Dua Lipa, Sam Hunt, and The Weeknd are pop stars who decided to release their new albums despite the big lockdown. Lady Gaga, Haim, and Sam Smith have decided to wait. Dua Lipa said, as Variety reports, she "thought I’d be doing them a disservice to delay it, especially during this time”, while Lady Gaga said - “it just doesn’t feel right to me to release this album with all that is going on during this global pandemic”. Whether to release an album or not depends on the genre also - hip-hop sells close to 100% in digital formats so there's a good chance of selling the album in expected numbers, while some older-demographic artists are still selling 70%-80% physical, and the records stores are closed... Tours are equally cancelled for both sides.

The Weeknd leads the Billboard 200 chart with his fourth #1 album 'After Hours', Hot 100 chart with his fifth #1 single 'Blinding Lights', and he also sits at #1 on the current Artist 100 chart, Hot 100 Songwriters chart, and the Hot Producers chart. This makes him the first act to hold the #1 spot on those five rankings at the same time. He told Billboard how he refused to postpone his album, because - "hopefully it can help some people escape our reality, if only for an hour out of their day". So, people massively escaped...

The Weeknd’s latest album 'After Hours' has topped the Billboard 200 with 444,000 equivalent album units, which made it the biggest debut week for an album in 2020 thus far, Billboard reports. 'After Hours' had 275,000 album sales, and 163,000 SEA units, which amounts to 220.7 million on-demand streams of the project's tracks in its first week. There was a chance that The Weeknd's album wasn’t going to release during the coronavirus pandemic - TMZ reports that music executives wanted the singer to hold off, fearing the album would flop.

The Weeknd, 'After Hours' album cover

In the week he turned 30, The Weeknd dropped 'After Hours', title song from his album of the same name, a slow-burning nightly record; Nnamdi released an unusual folk song 'Flowers to my Demons'; American soul/r'n'b veteran Swamp Dogg got some help from Bon Iver's Justin Vernon on 'Good, Better, Best'; Canadian dream-pop band Purity Ring shared a song 'Stardew' from their first new album in five years; Greg Dulli made a great sunny song 'A Ghost'; Pearl Jam go retro rock on 'Superblood Wolfmoon' experimentalists Horse Lords go reggaeton and make a cool video to go with 'People's Park'; Yves Tumor stays in the weird-pop lane with 'Gospel For A New Century'; underground rap legend Kool Keith released a collaboration 'Hallucinations' with duo Thetan; Sightless Pit, the new collaborative project of Lee Buford (The Body), Kristin Hayter (Lingua Ignota), and Dylan Walker (Full of Hell), have shared two new songs.

First, there was a long-form Mercedes ad, then there was a visually memorable performance on Colbert, and now The Weeknd has released an official music video for his hit 'Blinding Lights'. Anton Tammi directed it as a continuation of storyline from the previous video 'Heartless', with The Weeknd in reflective shades and a red sport coat gallivanting across Las Vegas, Michael Jackson-meets-'Drive' style.

The Weeknd performed his new song 'Heartless' on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert this week, while wandering the elaborately lit, mysteriously shifting halls of the Ed Sullivan Theater. The video starts, also unusually, with Colbert wondering away trying to find the singer, and finishes with the Weeknd appearing in front of the audience. Later […]

Plenty are going to be released, and Spin is especially excited about these: Sky Ferreira, The Weeknd, Grimes, Weezer, Chance the Rapper, Vampire Weekend, My Bloody Valentine, 2 Chainz, Avril Lavigne, Beirut, Carly Rae Jepsen, Cass McCombs, Cherry Glazerr, Chromatics, Deerhunter, Die Antwoord, Fidlar, Girlpool, Janet Jackson, Kanye West, Lana Del Rey, Mandy Rogers, Panda Bear, […]