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The Weeknd makes history with ‘After Hours’ album

After Hours is biggest debut of 2020

The Weeknd’s latest album, After Hours was released to massive critical and fan acclaim and has now been crowned the year’s biggest release, earning over two billion global streams and nearly two million in global consumption. The Grammy Award winning artist has not only captured a No. 1 album debut, but the single “Blinding Lights” has simultaneously captured the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming his fifth No. 1 on the chart. In addition, After Hours has become the No. 1 R&B streaming album of all time, breaking the record previously held by The Weeknd’s 2016 release, Starboy. The artist now holds the No. 1 and No. 2 top streaming R&B albums of all time with After Hours and Starboy.

After Hours is topping the charts across the globe, debuting No. 1 in Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and New Zealand. The album debuted at No. 1 on Apple Music in over 85 countries and dominated the global Spotify Chart, capturing seven of the Top 10. Additionally, “Blinding Lights” has been the No. 1 airplay song and No. 1 official single in multiple countries for several consecutive weeks as well as Spotify’s No. 1 Global Song for 37 days and counting. The record has also has crossed over five million in Single Consumption.

“When I started making this album, I never imagined it would be released as we face a worldwide pandemic,” says The Weeknd. “I always felt that music helped me in hard times and I hope that this body of work can do the same for others. It’s been amazing to see the real heroes shine in our world right now, the healthcare workers, the grocery store clerks and staff, delivery people, first responders – everyone putting their lives on the line to help others. This album is for them and any small joy or relief it can bring.”

The No. 1’s were aplenty for the release, No. 1 Billboard Debut of 2020 (After Hours), No. 1 Billboard Top 200 (After Hours), No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 (“Blinding Lights”), No. 1 Billboard R&B Album (After Hours), No. 1 Billboard Digital Song (“Blinding Lights”), No. 1 All-Time R&B Streaming Week (After Hours) and No. 1 Global Shazam (“Blinding Lights”).

The news comes after the singer kept his release date of March 20th, despite label execs orders. TMZ reports execs at Republic Records feared the album would flop due to the decrease in marketing opportunities from the coronavirus pandemic, but the singer insisted on releasing the album anyway.

Previous to album release the first two singles, “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights”, had already taken the world by storm, earning RIAA platinum status and bringing The Weeknd into the Top 10 artists of all time for RIAA singles. “Heartless” became The Weeknd’s fourth No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, while “Blinding Lights” became his fifth No. 1 Hot 100 and his seventh No. 1 on the Hot R&B Songs chart, the most for any artist ever. The Weeknd continued the trend by accumulating over one million pre-saves on Apple Music, the most the platform has ever seen.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.