The Weeknd has a lot of hits, but his career may be ending soon. His real name is Abel Tesfaye, but his moniker, The Weeknd, which he's operated under for about a decade, will reportedly die after his next album. “It’s getting to a place and a time where I’m getting ready to close The Weeknd chapter. I’ll still make music, maybe as Abel, maybe as The Weeknd," Tesfaye said to W Magazine. “But I still want to kill The Weeknd. And I will. Eventually. I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn.”
The Idol Vol. 1, set to go with his upcoming HBO show, will be his final project under his current name. If that is true, Tesfaye has made a ton of The Weeknd hits in his incredible career. From his mixtape days to the commercial albums, many of his genre-bending tracks have become staples for listeners. Here are the best of what he's released so far.
"Losers" ft. Labrinth (2014)
Hailing from Beauty Behind the Madness, The Weeknd's first studio album, "Losers" is a dynamic mashup. The songwriting is among Tesfaye's best here, with lines such as, "Cause stupid's next to 'I love you.'" The Labrinth feature works perfectly and the instrumentals are both some of his most creative and best. Two excellent verses and a stunning bridge combined with the excellent production make this one of The Weeknd's hits to remember.
"Alone Again" (2020)
While it's not quite the best song on After Hours, his best project to date, "Alone Again," is a near-perfect intro track. It's a harrowing beginning that melts into an absolute blast. This is his most cohesive album to date, and it all starts with this track. "Oh baby, won't you remind me what I am? And break, break my little cold heart" is one of his best lyrics. It sets the tone for the album and shows that he's not here to mess around.
"Starboy" ft. Daft Punk (2016)
It's not the only Daft Punk collaboration, but it is the best. "Starboy" is one of The Weeknd's hits that has stayed in his listeners' minds since 2016. The opening verse features some incredible bars like "P1 cleaner than your church shoes" and a ton of flexes over his counterparts like "Side b**** out of your league, too." Starboy is often considered a mixed bag by his most ardent listeners, but no one can deny this excellent track.
"Wicked Games" (2012)
From House of Balloons, "Wicked Games" is one of The Weeknd's hits from the mixtape era that infiltrated the mainstream. Many listeners weren't really around until he burst onto the scene with Beauty Behind the Madness, but this song has retroactively permeated everyone's playlists. The production, lyricism, and a few brutally honest lyrics about his own behavior make "Wicked Games" a great listen.
"How Do I Make You Love Me?" (2022)
Dawn FM is definitely The Weeknd's most experimental album. Tesfaye decided to make an album as if listeners were listening to a radio station—complete with DJ Jim Carrey working the microphone. There are a lot of great hits on this album, but "How Do I Make You Love Me?" is the best. Utilizing a slight accent, The Weeknd made this song stand out and feel like it came from another artist over the radio. It also has excellent production and an incredible chorus to top it all off.
"Dark Times" ft. Ed Sheeran (2014)
Most of the time, when Ed Sheeran dabbles in hip-hop, it doesn't work all that well (looking at his attempted rap verse on the Taylor Swift, Future hit "End Game"). However, the decision to put the British singer in "Dark Times" was good. The verses of both singers crooning about the bloody consequences of their poor decisions make for some of the best storytelling in any The Weeknd's hits. Both of their vocals are great, and the production is less hip-hop and leans more towards some alternative country, which makes Sheeran fit in exceptionally well.
"After Hours" (2020)
After Hours is a nearly perfect album. "After Hours" is one of the best songs from The Weeknd's entire discography. The entire album features a brutally honest look at himself, but this song takes it to another level. He's open and honest about his fears and struggles in a way that's rarely seen by artists. It all works together in a song and music video akin to the Martin Scorcese film of the same name. The fact that The Weeknd could pull all that off in a song and album is an impressive feat.
"Blinding Lights" (2019)
The Weeknd's best song is "Blinding Lights." It was inescapable after it debuted in late November. Little did fans know that it was a great omen for his upcoming album. Even when the album dropped and tons of incredible songs were released, "Blinding Lights" is the best and most recognizable track. With it, Tesfaye blended his underground song-making abilities with the mainstream to make a song that is quite literally for everyone. Which The Weeknd hits are your favorite?