The Weeknd
Pari Dukovic
Canada
2020

The
Weeknd

Even though the world tour in support of his March smash “After Hours” was postponed due to the pandemic, the 30-year-old Ethiopian-Canadian — real name Abel Tesfaye — has had a banner year. The album racked up a whopping 7 billion global audio and video streams, half from single “Blinding Lights,” set to be certified five times platinum and one of the 44 platinum or gold songs or albums with which he’s been involved. Showing another side, he made his acting debut in the Adam Sandler starrer “Uncut Gems” from A24 and made guest appearances in animated series “American Dad” (an episode he co-wrote) and “Robot Chicken.” In March, he performed on “SNL” — a week before the show had to take its pandemic pause.

Career

  • UNCUT GEMS
  • After Hours
  • Beauty Behind the Madness

Variety Honors

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News from Variety

The Weeknd’s 'Blinding Lights' Is Variety's Hitmakers Record of the Year

The Weeknd’s 'Blinding Lights' Is Variety's Hitmakers Record of the Year

The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” is indisputably one of the landmark songs of 2020 —and the only reason it isn’t even more dominant is because it was released on Nov. 29, 2019, and racked up significant numbers that year as well.Written by The Weeknd with Max Martin (the most successful songwriter-producer of the past 25 years) and Oscar Holter and produced by the trio with Jason “DaHeala” Quenneville and Ahmad “Belly” Balshe, the song has racked up a jaw-dropping 4.5 billion...

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