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INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 27: In this image released on December 7, The Weeknd performs during his “After Hours Til Dawn” tour at SoFi Stadium on November 27, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

The Weeknd, born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is a leading voice in R&B and pop since he began his career in 2014. The Canadian singer was introduced into the mainstream with “Earned It” which was featured on the Fifty Shades of Grey (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. The record “earned” him his first Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

In his discovery phase, The Weeknd credits fellow Canadian artist Drake for introducing him to the music world.

“Drake will always be like a big brother to me,” the singer told The Wall Street Journal back in 2016. “He always showed love and kind of showed the world what I could do.”

The Weeknd first collaborated with Drake on his 2011 album Take Care: “Shot for Me,” “Crew Love,” “Cameras / Good Ones Go Interlude,” “Practice” and “The Ride.”

“He’s like a writer, collaborator on four songs on my album, which I’m very proud of,” said Drake of The Weeknd in an interview with MTV News about Take Care. “I usually don’t branch out writing-wise working with other people. I usually like to write all my own stuff, but we get it. We try to tap into the same emotions because we’re from the same city.”

Since The Weeknd’s emergence, he has released five studio albums, and earned four Grammys (although he boycotted of the awards show since 2021 due to its lack of awarding Black artistry).

In recent years he was the headliner for the 2021 Super Bowl where he performed several of his greatest hits.

The Weeknd’s artistry goes beyond the music. He recently co-created HBO’s The Idol which starred Lily-Rose Depp as an aspiring popstar and her relationship with his character Tedros. While the series received criticism for its “uncomfortable” scenes, the singer said he intended to make onlookers feel uneasy.

“With this show, we love to play with the emotions,” he told GQ.” “We’re puppet-mastering your feelings through the show.”

Take a look at The Weeknd’s 10 best songs ranked:

  • 10. "Acquainted" from 'Beauty Behind the Madness' (2015)

    “Aquainted” is about reuniting with a woman he has romantic feelings for. Despite his friends telling him not to go through with it, he does. It was originally titled “Girls Born in the ’90s,” however, when the song leaked along with “Can’t Feel My Face” and “In the Night” the song was retitled. The song is found on his 2015 album Beauty Behind the Madness.

  • 9. "Die For You" from 'Starboy' (2016)

    On “Die For You,” The Weeknd sings about still caring about someone he loves although they are ending their relationship. The record is rumored to be about his ex-girlfriend supermodel Bella Hadid, since the pair broke up for the first time in 2016 due to “scheduling conflicts.” The Weeknd sings, “The distance and the time between us,” in the song. The music video came into fruition since it became a trending sound in 2021, which paid homage to Netflix’s original hit series Stranger Things, and Steven Spielberg’s 1982 science fiction classic film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The Weeknd and Ariana Grande created a remix of the song in 2023.

  • 8. "I Feel It Coming" ft. Daft Punk from 'Starboy' (2016)

    On the record, “I Feel It Coming” The Weeknd is trying to persuade a woman he has feelings for that he is the right guy for her despite her previous failed relationships. “You’ve been scared of love and what it did to you/You don’t have to run, I know what you’ve been through/Just a simple touch and it can set you free/We don’t have to rush when you’re alone with me,” he sings.

    The electronic duo Daft Punk joins the Canadian singer on the hook of the song. This was their second collaboration following the title track “Starboy.”

  • 7. "Often" from 'Beauty Behind the Madness' (2015)

    “Often” was released in 2014 as the lead single to The Weeknd’s second studio album, Beauty Behind the Madness which dropped the following year. The song is about the singer discussing his sexual endeavors with a woman he’s involved with. Beauty Behind the Madness was nominated for Album Of The Year and Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

  • 6. "Wicked Games" from 'House of Balloons' (2011)

    “Wicked Games” was recorded on his 2011 mixtape House of Balloons. The singer reveals how he is searching for confidence in himself a through a relationship with a woman.”Bring your love, baby, I could bring my shame/Bring the drugs, baby, I could bring my pain,” he sings on the verse before the hook, following “Listen, ma, I’ll give you all I got/Get me off of this (off of this), I need confidence (confidence) in myself.” The song later appears on his debut compilation album Trilogy which was released the following year.”Wicked Games” was the singer’s first song played on the radio as well as most fan’s introduction to his work.

  • 5. "Can't Feel My Face" from 'Beauty Behind the Madness' (2015)

    “Can’t Feel My Face” is the third single from The Weeknd’s second studio album and is considered to be his first solo pop hit. The song compares his love for a woman to the feeling when you’re on drugs. Since the song shares a name with the famous line “I can’t feel my face” from the 2001 movie Blow as the character references after injesting cocaine, fans figured that that might also be what the singer is referring to. This was The Weeknd’s first US Hot 100 No.1 song where it stayed for three nonconsecutive weeks. The song was nominated for Record Of The Year and for Best Pop Solo Performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

  • 4. "Earned It" from 'Fifty Shades of Grey (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)' (2015)

    “Earned It” was The Weeknd’s mainstream introduction as the song was made for the soundtrack for Fifty Shades of Grey film. It was his second contribution for the film as he also lent his vocals for “Where You Belong.” On “Earned It,” The Weeknd praises his partner’s performance in the bedroom. The record was his breakout single which “earned” him his first Grammy win for Best R&B Performance at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

  • 3. "Starboy" from 'Starboy' (2016)

    “Starboy” is the title track for The Weeknd’s third studio album. Electronic duo Daft Punk produced the track. The Weeknd told the Wall Street Journal that he got the title was inspiration from David Bowie. “I just love Bowie, I think he’s the ultimate inventor,” he said. The album title is a partial nod to Bowie’s 1972 anthem “Starman.” Starboy is also influenced by Prince, as the singer told the publication. Prior to Prince’s death in April 2016, the Canadian singer scheduled a studio session in his Paisley Park studio. The album won Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.

  • 2. "Blinding Lights" from 'After Hours' (2020)

    On “Blinding Lights” The Weeknd sings about needing his girlfriend in his life. In the first verse, he sings, “I can’t see clearly when you’re gone.” It is believed that the song was about his on-again-off-again supermodel ex-girlfriend Bella Hadid. In the song he sings, “will never let her go this time” which is rumored to refer to them breaking up and then later getting back together. He told Esquire that the song is in relation to the “blinding lights” while you’re driving at night but revealed the “dark undertone” to the song. “You’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights, but nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely,” he explained. “I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.” “Blinding Lights” marked The Weeknd’s fifth No. 1 behind “Can’t Feel My Face,” “The Hills,” “Starboy.” and “Heartless.”

  • 1. The Hills from 'Beauty Behind the Madness' (2015)

    After The Weeknd was introduced to fans with “Earned It,” he followed up with a sound that was unique with “The Hills.” The song is about The Weeknd, being in a secret relationship, and his paranoia that “everyone is watching.” The song title is a nod to Wes Craven’s 1977 horror film The Hills Have Eyes. “The Hills” served as the second single to The Weeknd’s second studio album Beauty Behind the Madness. The record was the Weeknd’s first diamond-certified record and debuted at No. 1 replacing his own top charter “Can’t Feel My Face.”

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