King of the Fall: The Weeknd’s Rise to Fame

weeknd lastfm

Abel Tesfaye, better known by his stage name The Weeknd, has become insanely popular over the past few years. His latest and most successful album Starboy released in late 2016. As you can tell by the title of the album, The Weeknd has gladly indulged in his newfound fame.

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Boy Bands and Girl Groups: They Don’t Work Anymore

Let me clear something up first. When I say boy band or girl group, I do not mean it in the traditional sense (like with a guitarist, singer, drummer, etc.), because those still exist, especially in metal and rock music. Here’s what I’m talking about.

Do you remember these guys?

Backstreet Boys via Billboard

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R&B/Soul in Mainstream Music

R&B singer Khalid via Genius

In the discourse of pop and mainstream music, R&B/Soul songs (as labeled by iTunes) are often included in the mix. Here are a few mainstream artists that sit in that genre: The Weeknd, Rihanna, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Khalid, Usher, Chris Brown, Bryson Tiller, Frank Ocean, SZA, Ne-Yo, Anderson .Paak, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Solange, Jessie Reyez…

The list goes on forever.

Those are quite some heavy hitters, so what’s going on here? Is the public actually listening to R&B? Or is this music actually pop mistakenly labeled as R&B?

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