Shortly after dominating both the Billboard 100 and 200 charts with the fervor contained on his fourth studio album, After Hours, The Weeknd is stepping back and giving a salute to those individuals who are tackling the coronavirus head-on.
“When I started making this album, I never imagined it would be released as we face a worldwide pandemic,” The Weeknd tells TMZ as they debunk an erroneous report about higher-ups at his label being a roadblock in the process. “I always felt that music helped me in hard times and I hope that this body of work can do the same for others.”
As of press time, the United States is reportedly on pace to surpass China in total COVID-19 cases as the White House has ordered social distancing guidelines to remain in place to at least the end of April.
Due to the quarantine, everyone has been relegated to their home but even a big star like The Weeknd can’t help to take notice of the climate.
“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,” he continued.
“This album is for them and any small joy or relief it can bring.”
After Hours has made the biggest album splash in 2020, amassing more than a billion streams on its first day on digital service providers. A deluxe edition was released on March 23.
[This post has been updated. The following was originally published on March 29, 2020.]
According to TMZ, The Weeknd was urged to delay his smash After Hours album due to the coronavirus pandemic but HipHopDX can confirm that simply was never the case.
Thanks the to the nationwide quarantine, the industry was beefed up with fears the album would flop since it couldn’t be marketed with television appearances. But Weeknd came out of the situation looking smart since his LP’s projected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
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In its first day, After Hours reached 100 million global streams. The LP’s numbers continued to skyrocket in the following days, leading Weeknd to boast about racking up 1 billion streams on Spotify.
Weeknd’s After Hours was released on March 20. A deluxe edition featuring four additional songs dropped on March 23.
Stream the LP below.