The Weeknd Is Nearly Unrecognizable as an Old Man on New Album Cover

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The Weeknd is releasing new music in the first week of the New Year. The "Blinding Lights" singer first took to Instagram on Sunday to share a cryptic post that hinted at a new album.

"Wake up at dawn tomorrow…," the 31-year-old musician, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, wrote alongside a photo of the sun shining in a lush, green yard.

On Monday, The Weeknd announced that his album, dawn FM, will be released on Friday, and posted a dystopian-themed music video teaser, in which he transforms into a much older version of himself. The one-minute video also names Jim Carrey, Quincey Jones, Tyler the Creator, Lil Wayne and Oneohtrix Point Never as collaborators. 

At the end of the snippet, a radio DJ is heard saying, "You are now listening to 103.5 dawn FM. You've been in the dark way too long. It's time to walk into the light and accept your fate with open arms."

Then on Tuesday, The Weekend revealed the cover art for his album, which shows him as a much older man. 

These posts come after The Weeknd shared a screenshot of a New Year's text exchange between himself and La Mar Taylor, the co-founder of XO Records, in which he discusses the album. In the brief back-and-forth, the singer seems to have the green light to skip a traditional album rollout and instead opts to drop the entire project so that he can "enjoy it with the people."

"Happy new year! Everything feels chaotic again. Music can heal and that feels more important than another album rollout," he wrote in the text. "Let's just drop the whole thing and enjoy it with the people...XO."

In August, The Weeknd shared the first taste of the album, with the release of "Take My Breath," a disco-infused track that seemed to signal the start of the singer's new era.

The upcoming album will be the first since the massive success of 2020’s After Hours, which featured hits "Save Your Tears," "Heartless" and "Blinding Lights."

Back in October, The Weeknd told Complex that parts of the album were already complete. "[The] only thing missing is a couple [of] characters that are key to the narrative," he noted at the time.

"Some people that are near and dear to me, some people that inspired my life as a child, and some that inspire me now," The Weeknd further explained. "More to come in the following months."

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