The Weeknd has earned T. Swift status, because his hit “The Hills” has just dethroned “Can’t Feel My Face.”
When “The Hills” rose to the top and became The Weeknd’s second No. 1 hit in, well, a week, he joined a club of only 17 other artists who have done the same. Last year, Ms. Swift’s “Blank Space” bumped “Shake It Off” out of the top spot, and going way, way back, The Beatles had three chart toppers in a row. “Can’t Feel My Face” dropped to No. 3, while Justin Bieber’s hit “What Do You Mean” settled into the No. 2 spot.
Wait, it gets better: The Weeknd, the 25-year-old Canadian artist born Abel Tesfaye, has seen his album Beauty Behind the Madness, sit pretty atop the Billboard 200 chart for the third week in a row, making this the second time this year an album has done so. (The first was, obviously, Taylor.]
The Weeknd’s hit album sold 48,000 copies, 245,000 songs, and was streamed 39 million times, adding up to 99,000 album equivalent units.
This past Saturday, The Weeknd opened at night two of the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, following a sold out performance the night before. He performed a five track set, including both “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face.” Included were “Earned It,” from the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, and “Losers” and “Often,” both from Beauty Behind The Madness.
The Weeknd’s rise to the top is no surprise. In July, he was a surprise guest at–you guessed it–Taylor Swift’s New Jersey show at MetLife Stadium. He belted out “Can’t Feel My Face” for 83,000 Swifties that night, and in August, Stevie Wonder parodied the song at a concert in Central Park. Katy Perry also said that The Weeknd’s seductive tune “Often” is her favorite song to get naughty to.
Sharon Dastur, who is the senior Vice President of programming for iHeartMedia, released a statement.
“He’s absolutely one of the biggest artists out right now, and he’s just getting going. Not a lot of artists hit Number One this quickly and navigate all those formats.”
iHeartMedia’s pop and hip-hop stations have The Weeknd in their rotations. Dastur goes on to say that Taylor Swift “knows pop culture better than anyone, and you know the masses are looking to see who’s up on that stage with her.”
If you would have asked The Weeknd five years ago to sing on-stage with Ms. Swift, the answer would have been no. But now?
“Now I want as many people to hear my music as possible.”
Trust me, The Weeknd. We’ll keep listening.
[Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]