The Weeknd Named World's Most Popular Artist by Guinness World Records
The Weeknd's more than a "Starboy," he's the most popular artist in the world -- at least according to the Guinness World Records.
On Wednesday, GWR -- previously known as The Guinness Book of World Records, a reference book published annually, listing world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world -- declared that the "Blinding Lights" singer is statistically the most popular musician on the planet.
Citing two new Guinness World Records titles, the records company said that The Weekend, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, has not only become the artist with the most monthly listeners on Spotify, raking in 111.4 million as of March 20, but has become the first artist on the streaming platform to reach 100 million monthly listeners.
GWR also notes that The Weeknd currently has almost 30 million more listeners than Miley Cyrus, who came in at second place at 82.4, with Shakira (81.6 million) coming in third.
Trailing behind them, are Ariana Grande (80.6 million), Taylor Swift (80.2 million), Rihanna (78.5 million) and Ed Sheeran, who boasts a total of 77.5 million Spotify listeners
The ranking comes after the release of The Weeknd's "Die For You" remix featuring Ariana Grade. The remix has gone viral on TikTok and is being used frequently as a sound on the app.
The track also hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the seventh number-one hit for both The Weeknd and Grande respectively.
Outside of music, The Weeknd has been making headlines for his new HBO series, The Idol, following a bit of back and forth with music magazine Rolling Stone. After the publication claimed that the series had "gone wildly, disgustingly off the rails," the 33-year-old Canadian musician spoke out in defense of the project.
Shooting back at the report, The Weeknd shared a clip from the series, in which his character -- a cult leader and self-help guru named Tedros -- slams Rolling Stone magazine for being "irrelevant."
The Weeknd threw additional shade in the caption, writing, "@rollingstone did we upset you?"
While he appeared to claim that Rolling Stone's negative report about the series is something personal, HBO has also denied the claims made in the article, in a statement to ET. Specifically, claims regarding why the show's original director, Amy Seimetz, left the series, why several episodes were allegedly scrapped entirely, and how The Weeknd allegedly had a problem with the show heading toward having too much of a "female perspective."
"The creators and producers of The Idol have been working hard to create one of HBO’s most exciting and provocative original programs. The initial approach on the show and production of the early episodes, unfortunately, did not meet HBO standards so we chose to make a change," HBO said in a statement about the project -- which now touts Euphoria's Sam Levinson as its director. "Throughout the process, the creative team has been committed to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment, and last year, the team made creative changes they felt were in the best interest of both the production and the cast and crew. We look forward to sharing The Idol with audiences soon."
Several teaser trailers have been released for the series, which is slated to premiere sometime in 2023, but no specific date has yet been announced.
For more on the series, check out the video below.
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