From 50 Shades to Ariana!
Canadian Abel Makkonen Tesfaye decided that it was probably a good idea to get himself a stage name, he eventually settled on The Weeknd but has also been known as The Noise, and Kin Cane.
His debut album came in 2013 and received generally positive reviews. The most impressive part of the album was how he had landed co-writes with Sting and Pharrell Williams. Drake also guested on Live For.
Following his debut, he released a single connected with the movie 50 Shades Of Grey. Entitled Earned It, this would be The Weeknd’s first big tune with sales of 10 million in the U.S. alone.
Earned It reached the top 10 in 20 countries, making The Weeknd something of a household name.
The follow-up album, Beauty Behind The Madness came with the single Can’t Feel My Face. Co-written with Swedish pop producer Max Martin, it reached #1 the world over and is by many seen as Song of the Year, 2015. Sales amounted to 10 million in the U.S. and 2 million in the U.K.
The third album, Starboy (2016) had three big tunes, The title track (featuring Daft Punk), Die For You (featuring Ariana Grande), and I Feel It Coming (also featuring Daft Punk). As an album, it went to #1 in several countries and sold 4 million copies in the U.S.
Die For You was the best-performing single from this album with 5 million sold. The collaboration with Ariana would a few years later become even more successful.
The Weeknd’s next release is not a full-length but an EP called My Dear Melancholy. One tune came here in Call Out My Name. The single did reasonably well in the charts and sold 3 million in the U.S., streaming was especially good in Sweden and Greece.
After a Greatest Hits in 2018, the 4th full-length album drops in 2020. This one was called After Hours and had two massive tunes in Blinding Lights and Save Your Tears (featuring Ariana Grande again).
This album went to #1 in more than 20 countries, Blinding Lights has been streamed over 5 billion times. Save Your Tears half that.
The Weeknd’s latest album, Dawn Fm (2022), didn’t live up to the same numbers as After Hours achieved. Perhaps he’s peaked, or maybe he’ll be back again with more big tunes. We shall all wait and see.
Working bands the world over are playing Blinding Lights, perhaps avoiding Save Your Tears as Ariana’s vocal is difficult to replicate.
The Weeknd tunes | Related pages
You can learn how to play Blinding Lights by The Weeknd using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recording.
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I’ve been tryna call, I’ve been on my own for long enough…