"Blinding Lights," the 2019 synthwave masterpiece, has just become the first song ever to hit 4 billion streams on Spotify, cementing Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd’s status as a legend in the music industry.
The song was an instant phenomenon, topping charts worldwide and dethroning the legendary Chubby Checker's "The Twist" as the longest-running #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. Its intoxicating mix of nostalgia and yearning struck a chord with a generation grappling with isolation and uncertainty, becoming the soundtrack to late-night drives and lockdown nights.
The song was released just as TikTok’s popularity began to skyrocket, with the Blinding Lights dance trending during the coronavirus lockdowns. TikTok icons such as Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio took part as well as other celebrities, including Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, Ladbaby, and Riverdale actor KJ Apa.
However, The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, is no newcomer to the music industry.
Born in Toronto in 1990, he began anonymously uploading music to YouTube in 2009, catching the attention of Drake, who initially wanted to sign the artist to his record label, OVO. When Tesfaye declined, a feud broke out between the pair, with many fans speculating that the song ‘Sidewalks’ is about Drake, with the lyric ‘too many people think they made me’ referring to Drake claiming to have ‘discovered’ The Weeknd.
While Blinding Lights may hold the Spotify crown for now, it's not alone in the record books. Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ came in second with 3.7 billion streams, followed by Scottish artist Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Someone You Loved’ with 3.1 billion streams. Classic songs such as Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (2.3 billion streams) and K-Pop band BTS’ ‘Dynamite’ (1.78 billion streams) also took place in the top 100 songs on Spotify.
The number one song of all time, according to the Guinness World Records, remains Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’, which predates streaming charts. The timeless Christmas single has sold more copies than any other song in history.
This incredible triumph has also made The Weeknd the number one artist on Spotify, alongside Post Malone and Dua Lipa who also have five songs in the Top 100 each.
But The Weeknd isn’t planning to stop here. In his post on Instagram, the artist shared his album covers from the album ‘After Hours’ and ‘Dawn FM’ with a third slide featuring a black screen with a white question mark in the middle and a parental advisory notice. The caption ‘3.’ has led fans to believe that a new album could be in the works.
Crank up the volume, be blinded by the lights, and bask in the brilliance of The Weeknd's record-breaking anthem. He's not just dominating the charts; he's rewriting the rules of the game.
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