Music » Music Special Issue

The Weeknd headlines Friday at Voodoo 2016

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In 2015, Jon Caramanica of The New York Times asked, "Can The Weeknd Turn Himself into the Biggest Pop Star in the World?" In 2016, MTV called him one of the most ambitious video stars since Michael Jackson and Guns N' Roses. These accolades are impressive, to say the least, as it has only been five years since Weeknd released House of Balloons, the near-perfect mixtape that would change the course of the Canadian musician's career. These days, even those who may be unfamiliar with The Weeknd still have heard mega-hits such as "Can't Feel My Face." In the course of a few years, The Weeknd's brand of darkly existential R&B has taken him from mixtape crush to Hollywood films. His work appeared on a number of major film soundtracks, including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Fifty Shades of Grey — from which his song "Earned It" reached No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 100. The Weeknd's 2016 Starboy album features a just-released lead single with Daft Punk, a synth-layered entanglement of Daft Punk vocal echoes and melancholy Weeknd chord structures combined into a solid club dance hit.

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