The Weeknd, the dark prince of bleary-eyed, confessional R&B, descended on the Grammys like a fog Monday night and performed “Can’t Feel My Face” and “In The Night” off his nominated album, Beauty Behind The Madness.
Going into the evening, the Canadian artist born Abel Tesfaye had already distinguished himself as one to watch by racking up seven nominations — tied with Taylor Swift for the second most and trailing only Kendrick Lamar, who had nine.
At the time of his performance, the Weeknd had prevailed in two out of five categories, winning best R&B performance (“Earned It”) and urban contemporary album (Beauty Behind the Madness), with record and album of the year still up for grabs.
2015 represented a breakout year for the Weeknd, who continued his transition from Internet phenom to mainstream star with Beauty Behind the Madness, his second studio album.
His ambitions go further: He told the New York Times last year he wants to join the pantheon of musical greats. “These kids, you know, they don’t have a Michael Jackson,” he said. “They don’t have a Prince. They don’t have a Whitney. Who else is there? Who else can really do it at this point?”