The Weeknd is the most popular artist of our times according to Guinness

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadMar 24, 2023 | 13:32

The Weeknd is the most popular artist of our times according to Guinness

The Weeknd is the most popular artist in the world right now. Photo: Instagram/theweeknd

You either know him as The Weeknd or Abel, and you've likely heard his music during your demonic/dark self-loathing hours. Now, the 33-year-old Canadian singer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, or The Weeknd, has officially been named the most popular artist of our times. 

The Guinness World Records revealed that Abel is statistically the most popular artist in the world and that "no one else even comes close". The only statistics that GWR provides are the Spotify listeners. 


These are the records Abel set:

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

How well Spotify influences music lovers around every corner of the world is debatable. I for one use Wynk music app because as an Airtel user I don't have to pay for a subscription. A teammate uses Amazon Music because it is included with an Amazon Prime subscription. 

Who's the next most popular artist? 

  • While "no one else comes even close" to The Weeknd's current popularity, Miley Cyrus is second on the list. (buy herself some Flowers?) 

  • The Weeknd has other GWR titles to his name too. In 2015, his album, Beauty Behind the Madness, became the most streamed album on Spotify. 
  • Abel is the only other solo male artist after Michael Jackson to have multiple No 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 from three albums.


So, who's Abel Tesfaye and what's his music type?

  • Abel Tesfaye, born in Toronto to immigrant parents from Ethiopia, was discovered on YouTube in 2009 by producer Jeremy Rose.  
  • He used to make music anonymously. For a long time, people didn't know whether the mysterious The Weeknd was a solo artist or a band, or even artificial intelligence. 

  • For a decade, Abel has been singing about self-loathing, sex, and drugs. In other words, his image has been mostly that of a sad f**kboi in a duotone video and photo effect.
  • Critics say he's trying to outgrow the f**kboi image with the album After Hours, singing about his heartbreak post-Bella Hadid period.

Which is your favourite song or album of The Weeknd and why?

Last updated: March 24, 2023 | 13:32
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