The Weeknd snags No. 1 album spot

8 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

The Weeknd Tops the Billboard Charts.

Abel Tesfaye, the once-shadowy Canadian R&B singer better known as the Weeknd, has completed his evolution from Internet triumph to full-blown pop star, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard album chart this week. “Beauty Behind the Madness” (XO/Republic) made its debut with sales of 412,000 album-equivalent units (counting downloads and streams), according to Nielsen Music, thanks in part to three top-five singles, including “Can’t Feel My Face,” which topped the Hot 100.The R&B crooner has had a whirlwind year, capping off his summer on Sept. 6 by closing Budweiser Made in America, the Philadelphia music festival curated by Jay Z.

Pure album sales accounted for 326,000 of that total, the second-biggest opening week so far this year after “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” by Drake, a fellow Toronto artist who has often collaborated with the Weeknd. The country singer Luke Bryan sold another 50,000 units and sits at No. 3 with “Kill the Lights” (Capitol Nashville), which spent two weeks last month atop the chart. The Weeknd no longer needs a Drake cosign — and he has so many hits that he barely has time to perform the mixtape tracks that made him blow up in the first place.

From there, The Weeknd stuck to a slate of current songs, like the Kanye West-produced “Tell Your Friends,” “Losers” and “Often.” A blood-red background highlighted the pacing singer, illuminating the silhouette of his bobbing dreadlocks. For all of his high-energy bursts, the Weeknd is at his best when he’s aloof, pausing for moments of silence as the screams from the packed crowd grow louder and louder. His first encore kicked off that way — a dark but perfectly fitting introduction to “Prisoner,” which transitioned into high gear for smash hits “I Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills.” Like the very beginning of the show, the final song (and second encore) circled back to House of Balloons, closing the night with a slow-burning rendition of “Wicked Games.” Sure, his set was packed with current hit singles — but it felt most fulfilling at the end, when The Weeknd took his audience back to where it all began.

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