The Weeknd Should Win The Grammy For Record Of The Year Because "Can't Feel My Face" Is Huge Across Genres
In 2015, Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd became one of the most recognizable faces — and coifs — in the music world. It might have seemed like he came out of nowhere, but the 25-year-old with a magic touch for slow jams has been making his dark, moody tracks for years, flying under the radar. (He's also a super private guy). But this year there was nowhere to turn without hearing The Weeknd — "The Hills," the first single off his 2015 album Beauty Behind The Madness was released in May and broke records almost immediately. Then came the even-more popular "Can’t Feel My Face," which Complex called the official song of the summer. The only thing that could make 2015 even more of a win for The Weeknd would be a Grammy win for Record of the Year, because it’s almost a given that he’ll secure a spot when the nominees are announced on Dec. 7 for the 2016 awards.
By the numbers alone, "Can't Feel My Face" is a strong contender for Record of the Year. The sexy/angsty Canadian singer’s fourth single stayed at the top of the Billboard Top 100 for weeks, and he also became the 16th artist of all time to hold the #1 and #2 spots simultaneously for “I Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills,” and the first since 2009.
And then there are the musical comparisons. The Weeknd has compared himself to Michael Jackson, which is a bold status to put on yourself, but no one is disagreeing. In a New York Times profile of the astronomical rise of the dark, surreal, and unexpected pop star, legendary producer Quincy Jones, said that The Weeknd reminded him of a younger Jackson himself: “I used to make music like that,” Jones said of “Can’t Feel My Face.”
The Weeknd has been able to cross over genres like R&B, hip-hop, and pop in a way that definitely mirrors Jackson, too. And there’s also his falsetto voice and his cute little MJ-esque “Oooh!” that begs the comparisons. When Rolling Stone named “Can’t Feel My Face” its number one track of the year, the publication took that little yelp as a sign: "That single ecstatic syllable, slipping out just before each chorus, transformed Abel Tesfaye from a cult R&B singer to a full-on pop star — just as decisively as a similar yelp of joy marked a new era in Michael Jackson's career when "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" hit 36 years earlier."
And if earlier awards are any indications of the Grammy award wins, the American Music Awards are a good omen for The Weeknd. He won two awards at the ceremony in November for Favorite Soul R&B Artist (Male), and for Soul/R&B Album for Beauty Behind The Madness, which was presented to him by the iconic, immortal Prince. He later performed "The Hills" onstage and literally and figuratively set the stage on fire.
And, let's not forget, he's been immortalized in memes and even a dubsmash from comedian Aziz Ansari. The Weeknd's dark, emotional tracks about drugs, sex, and more drugs and sex somehow have universal appeal, and "Can't Feel My Face" deserves the win for Record of the Year.