The Weeknd is officially the world's most popular artist

By Sanj Atwal
The Weeknd

Abel Tesfaye, more commonly known as The Weeknd, is statistically the most popular musician on the planet, and no one else even comes close.

The 33-year-old Canadian singer’s success has seen him set two new Guinness World Records titles:

  • Most monthly listeners on Spotify – 111.4 million (as of 20 March 2023)
  • First artist to reach 100 million monthly listeners on Spotify

The Weeknd currently has almost 30 million more monthly listeners than second-placed Miley Cyrus (82.4 million).

He is also comfortably ahead of Shakira (81.6 million), Ariana Grande (80.6 million), Taylor Swift (80.2 million), Rihanna (78.5 million), and his closest male challenger, Ed Sheeran (77.5 million).

The Weeknd’s surging streaming figures come on the back of the release of his “Die For You” remix featuring Ariana Grande, which went viral on TikTok. 

The track peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the seventh number-one hit for both The Weeknd and Grande respectively.

Prior to its release, Grande teased the song by posting a TikTok video of herself in the studio, accompanied by the caption, “wrote and recorded a verse for my friend after a 14-hour day on set. This certain exception had to be made…..”



♬ original sound - arianagrande

It is the duo’s fourth collaboration, following “Love Me Harder” (2014), “Off the Table” (2020) and the remix of “Save Your Tears” (2021).

The original “Die For You” was released in 2016 as part of The Weeknd’s Starboy album, and has finally topped the charts six years later. This is the longest climb to number one on the Hot 100 for a non-holiday song in history.

Starboy is now the third of The Weeknd’s albums to spawn multiple number one singles, after Beauty Behind the Madness (2015) and After Hours (2020).

Michael Jackson is the only other solo male musician to have ever achieved this feat.

The Weeknd receives two Guinness World Records certificates in 2016

These aren't The Weeknd's first Guinness World Records titles. In 2016 he was awarded two certificates; one for the most streamed album on Spotify in 2015, and another for the most consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 by a solo male artist.

The album was Beauty Behind the Madness, which, led by the single "Can't Feel My Face", propelled The Weeknd to global superstardom.

The Weeknd singing

The Weeknd has released five studio albums since debuting with Kiss Land (2013). His latest release, Dawn FM (2022), is his most critically acclaimed project to date.

“Blinding Lights” from The Weeknd’s fourth album, After Hours, remains the most streamed track on Spotify, with over 3.4 billion streams as of February 2023. The song ousted Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” which had held the top spot since September 2017.

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