Since his gloriously enigmatic emergence at the beginning of the previous decade, Abel Tesfaye's career as The Weeknd has been one of transition and transformation.
Initially keeping his identity a secret, The Weeknd moved through a trilogy of influential alt-R&B mixtapes before finally emerging into the commercial sphere with 2013's Kiss Land, but the real step-up was a series of quick-fire hits in 2015; Earned It, The Hills and Can't Feel My Face that made him one of pop's brightest and most singular talents.
Now, The Weeknd boasts one UK Number 1 single and 11 Top 10 hits, as well as a further 2 Number 1 albums. He's collaborated with the likes of Ariana Grande, Rosalia and Daft Punk, as well as birthing one of the most popular (and successful) hits of the last two years with Blinding Lights.
With his new album Dawn FM now due to drop this week in a semi-surprise release with some very bold artwork, we're revealing The Weeknd's biggest albums in the UK, based on combined sales and streaming figures. Take a look at the full Top 10 below, but first, a closer look at the Top 5.
Release date: 2012
Official Chart peak: Number 37
A composite collection of The Weeknd's first three mixtapes The House of Balloons, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, it was his first release through now long-time label Republic via his own imprint XO. The release was supported by the re-push of Wicked Games as The Weeknd's debut major label single. Despite the hype, it peaked at a modest Number 37 on the Official Albums Chart.
4. The Highlights
Release date: 2021
Official Chart peak: Number 2
Released in conjunction with The Weeknd's frantic, gothic 2021 Super Bowl Halftime Show, The Highlights is a rare modern-day pop superstar greatest hits collection that has managed to thrive in the streaming era, peaking at Number 2 on the Official Albums Chart.
3. After Hours
Release date: 2020
Official Chart peak: Number 1
After Hours became The Weeknd's second UK Number 1 album in 2020, and it also birthed his first (and so far only) Number 1 single - Blinding Lights. But what a Number 1 single it is. Produced by frequent collaborator Max Martin it spent a mammoth eight weeks at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart and has accumulated 2.96 million chart sales, making it The Weeknd's biggest single in the UK.
According to Official Charts Company data, the songs from the After Hours era have tallied a combined 651.5 million streams in the UK. The album contained a further two Top 10 hits for The Weeknd in the form of lead single Heartless (Number 10) and Save Your Tears (Number 2) which was boosted by a remix with Ariana Grande.
Release Date: 2016
Official Chart peak: Number 5
The Weeknd's slick second album is on some levels an investigation into the dark side of the kind of fame and celebrity The Weeknd was exposed to after the success of Beauty Behind The Madness and Can't Feel My Face.
Once again reuniting with Max Martin and even recruiting French dance droids Daft Punk along for the ride, the impressive title track of this record is actually The Weeknd's second most-popular song ever in the UK, shifting 2 million chart sales. As for the album itself, its total chart sales are the second biggest; with over 461,000 chart sales and 304,000 streams.
1. Beauty Behind The Madness
Release Date: 2014
Official Chart peak: Number 1
The Weeknd's first UK Number 1 album and the record that made him into a superstar, Beauty Behind the Madness takes the dark introspection of Tesfaye's earlier work and melds them with newfound confidence and even stronger pop sensibilities and hooks, helped along by producers like Max Martin and Illangelo.
Beauty Behind The Madness has chart sales in excess of 595,000 - making it The Weeknd's biggest album to date in the UK. It's placing is claimed by not only being the most bought album of the lot, with over 252,000 physical and digital download copies sold, but his most-streamed collection too, with plays totalling over 343,000.
Impressively, it also contains three tracks that have shifted over a million chart sales in the UK each - Earned It, Can't Feel My Face and The Hills.
The Weeknd's Top 10 biggest albums in the UK
|POS||TITLE||CHART PEAK||RELEASE DATE|
|1||BEAUTY BEHIND THE MADNESS||1||2015|
|6||MY DEAR MELANCHOLY||3||2018|
|7||HOUSE OF BALLOONS||N/A||2011|
|10||ECHOES OF SILENCE||N/A||2011|
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