Starboy (album)

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Starboy
The cover image description is given in artwork section.
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 25, 2016 (2016-11-25)
Recorded2016[1]
Studio
Genre
Length68:40
Label
Producer
The Weeknd chronology
Beauty Behind the Madness
(2015)
Starboy
(2016)
My Dear Melancholy
(2018)
Singles from Starboy
  1. "Starboy"
    Released: September 21, 2016
  2. "False Alarm"
    Released: September 29, 2016
  3. "I Feel It Coming"
    Released: November 24, 2016
  4. "Party Monster"
    Released: December 6, 2016
  5. "Reminder"
    Released: May 9, 2017
  6. "Rockin'"
    Released: May 9, 2017
  7. "Die for You"
    Released: September 19, 2017
  8. "Secrets"
    Released: November 10, 2017

Starboy is the third studio album by the Canadian singer-songwriter the Weeknd, released on November 25, 2016, through XO and Republic Records. It features guest appearances from Daft Punk, Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, and Future. As the album's executive producers, the Weeknd and Doc McKinney enlisted a variety of producers such as Diplo, Cashmere Cat, Metro Boomin, Frank Dukes, and Labrinth, among others.

Starboy was supported by eight singles, including the US Billboard Hot 100 number-ones "Starboy" and "Die for You" (which topped the chart following a remix with Ariana Grande), and the top-five single "I Feel It Coming". It received generally favorable reviews from critics and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 348,000 album-equivalent units (209,000 of which were pure sales), becoming the Weeknd's second consecutive number-one album. It also debuted at number one on Billboard's Canadian Albums Chart. Starboy won Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in 2018, marking the Weeknd's second win in that category. As of April 2022, the album is certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 2023, the Weeknd released a deluxe version that contains three additional previously remixed releases: "Starboy" (Kygo remix), "Die For You" (with Ariana Grande), and "Reminder" (featuring ASAP Rocky and Young Thug).

Background[edit]

After the commercial success of his previous album Beauty Behind the Madness (2015), the Weeknd hinted at the release of his third studio album on March 12, 2016, with an Instagram post calling it the next "chapter" to his music.[5] He further revealed in an interview with Vogue that he had been working with the same team that helped produce his debut mixtape, House of Balloons (2011).[1] On July 15, the executive vice president of Republic Records Wendy Goldstein confirmed during an interview with Billboard that the Weeknd would be collaborating with French electronic duo Daft Punk.[6] On September 7, the Weeknd revealed during an interview with VMan that the album was in production and was influenced by Prince, the Smiths, Talking Heads and Bad Brains.[7] He later revealed the album's overall theme and additional influences during his own interview with Billboard:

The vibe on Starboy comes from that hip-hop culture of braggadocio from Wu-Tang and 50 Cent, the kind of music I listened to as a kid. Bragging just sounds good, man. I was a teenager when I saw Scarface, and even though it was unbelievable, it's kind of cool Tony Montana could survive all those gunshots and not feel them.[8]

The Weeknd formally announced his third studio album on September 21, by sharing its title and release date of November 25.[9][10] The album cover was photographed and designed by Nabil Elderkin, and its CD booklet features eleven portraits of the Weeknd shot by Elderkin.[11] Work on the album was completed a week before the album's release.[12] The album's tracklist was formally revealed on November 17, 2016, alongside the release of the singles "I Feel It Coming" and "Party Monster".[13] In an interview with Variety in 2020, the Weeknd said that the cross imagery on the album cover symbolizes being reborn.[14]

Composition[edit]

Primarily a R&B[2] and pop album,[3][15] Starboy incorporates elements of new wave,[4] disco,[16] dance-punk,[17] electro-rock,[18] electropop,[19] electro-dance,[3] 2-step,[20] trap,[15] and disco-house.[21] Lyrical themes include celebrity extravagance, braggadocio, romance and materialism.[22]

Promotion[edit]

Singles[edit]

On September 21, 2016, the album's lead single, "Starboy", was released digitally on music stores and streaming services. The song features guest appearances from French electronic duo Daft Punk.[23][24] The music video for the song premiered on September 28.[25] The song peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.[26]

"False Alarm" was released digitally as the album's second single on September 29, 2016.[27][28] The song peaked at number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100.[26]

"I Feel It Coming" was serviced to British contemporary hit radio on November 24, 2016,[29] and later to rhythmic contemporary radio on December 6, 2016, as the album's third single.[30][31] The song peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.[26]

"Party Monster" was released to urban contemporary radio on December 6, 2016, as the album's fourth single.[32] The song peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.[26]

"Reminder" was released to rhythmic contemporary radio on May 9, 2017, as the album's fifth single in the United States.[33] The song peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100.[26]

"Rockin'" was released to contemporary hit radio in France on May 9, 2017, as the album's sixth international single.[34] The song peaked at number 44 on the Billboard Hot 100.[26]

"Die for You" was released to rhythmic contemporary radio on September 19, 2017, as the album's sixth single in the United States.[35] The song peaked at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 during its original run and achieved a new peak of number six in January 2023.[26][36] Following a remix with Ariana Grande, the song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 2023.[37] Directed by Christian Breslauer, the music video of "Die For You" was surprise-released in 2021, as part of the 5th anniversary of Starboy's release.[38]

"Secrets" was released to radio in Italy on November 10, 2017, as the album's eighth and final international single.[39] The song peaked at number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100.[26]

Performances[edit]

The Weeknd was a musical guest on the season 42 season premiere of Saturday Night Live. He promoted the album by performing both "Starboy" and "False Alarm" and starred in a brief cameo on the "Weeknd Update" sketch, where he acknowledged his new haircut.[40] On November 20, 2016, the Weeknd sang "Starboy" at the 2016 American Music Awards.[41] Four days later, the Weeknd appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform both "I Feel It Coming" and "Starboy".[42] On December 6, he performed at the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on CBS.[43] On February 12, 2017, the Weeknd and Daft Punk performed at the 2017 Grammy Awards.[44]

On November 25, 2016, all of the album's tracks played throughout the Weeknd's interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1.[45]

Short film[edit]

On November 23, 2016, the Weeknd released a 12-minute-long short film in promotion of the album, directed by Grant Singer, who also directed the "Starboy" music video. Named Mania,[46][47][48][49] it features the songs such as "All I Know" featuring Future, "Sidewalks" featuring Kendrick Lamar, "Secrets", "Die for You", "Party Monster" and "I Feel It Coming" featuring Daft Punk.[46][47][48][49] It stars French model Anais Mali as the female protagonist.[50]

Tour[edit]

The Weeknd announced dates for the first leg of the Starboy: Legend of the Fall Tour in support of Starboy on October 31, 2016, which begun on February 17, 2017.[51]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.4/10[52]
Metacritic67/100[53]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[54]
The A.V. ClubB[55]
The Daily Telegraph[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB[56]
The Guardian[57]
The Independent[58]
NME[59]
Pitchfork6.7/10[60]
Q[61]
Rolling Stone[4]

Starboy was met with generally favorable reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, the album received an average score of 67, based on 25 reviews.[53] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 6.4 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[52]

Annie Zaleski of The A.V. Club praised the album saying, "The record is a few songs too long, and it loses steam as it progresses. But such imperfections are par for the course: He'd rather express everything he's feeling than put forth an airbrushed or idealized version of himself. In that sense, Starboy is one of the most confident releases of the year, one bold enough to reveal the cracks in The Weeknd's façade for the sake of resonant art".[55] Michael Madden of Consequence said, "It would help if more of the album were idiosyncratic that way, but as is, Starboy is still the sound of Tesfaye knowing he has what it takes to be a major figure in pop music for a very long time".[62] Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph gave the album a positive review stating, "What is surprising is how seamless and integrated the sound is—a really luxurious, supple groove of sparkling electronica and sinuous, melodic vocals".[2] Nolan Feeney of Entertainment Weekly wrote: "While musicians writing about coping with newfound celebrity is one of pop's oldest tropes, the Weeknd avoids the usual clichés with observations and anecdotes that feel specific and genuine."[56] Ryan B. Patrick of Exclaim! saying "Those wishing for a return to the Trilogy days will have to bit a tad longer; across 18 tracks, the Weeknd proves he's ready for primetime here, but there's still a sense of feeling out the new parameters".[19] Mehan Jayasuriya of Pitchfork said, "Starboy, by way of contrast [to Trilogy], feels more like an opportunistic compilation of B-sides than an album. Who is the Weeknd? At this point, even the man behind the curtain might not know".[60]

In a mixed review, AllMusic's Andy Kellman stated: "The productions—the majority of which involve Doc McKinney and/or Cirkut, low-lighted by maneater dance-punk dud "False Alarm"—are roughly as variable in style as they are in quality. When pared down to its ten best songs, Starboy sounds like Tesfaye's most accomplished work."[54] Alexis Petridis of The Guardian said, "There are things worth hearing on Starboy. It seems to capture an artist in a slightly awkward state of flux, unsure whether to cravenly embrace the kind of pop stardom that gets you on the shortlist for the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice awards or throw caution to the wind and do something more interesting artistically. Starboy hedges its bets and tries to do both. You can see why, but it makes for a curiously uneven album".[57] In another mixed review, Rolling Stone's Mosi Reeves stated: "Despite an overlong hour-plus runtime and surplus of filler, Starboy does have highlights. ... But for longtime fans that believe the Weeknd is one of the major R&B artists of the decade, Starboy will ultimately seem like a disappointment."[4]

Year-end lists[edit]

Select year-end rankings of Starboy
Publication List Rank Ref.
Billboard 50 Best Albums of 2016
21
Complex The 50 Best Albums of 2016
40
Digital Spy 20 Best Albums of 2016
5
Noisey The 100 Best Albums of 2016
84
Variance 50 Best Albums of 2016
41

Industry awards[edit]

Awards and nominations for Starboy
Year Ceremony Category Result Ref.
2017 American Music Awards Favorite Pop/Rock Album Nominated
Favorite Soul/R&B Album Nominated
Billboard Music Awards Top Billboard 200 Album Nominated
Top R&B Album Nominated
Juno Awards Album of the Year Nominated
R&B/Soul Recording of the Year Won
Polaris Music Prize Polaris Music Prize Longlisted
Soul Train Music Awards Album/Mixtape of the Year Nominated
2018 Grammy Awards Best Urban Contemporary Album Won

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, Starboy debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 348,000 album-equivalent units, calculated from 209,000 pure album sales and 175.2 million on-demand streams. It marked the Weeknd's second consecutive number-one album and the third-largest debut sales week of 2016.[74] At the time, Starboy had the second-largest streaming week for an album ever behind Drake's Views.[74] All 18 songs from the album charted on the Billboard Hot 100. It marked the second-best total simultaneous Hot 100 entries at the time, after Drake charted 20 songs at the same time in May 2016.[75] Starboy was ranked as the third most successful album of 2017 on the Billboard 200.[76] It was the fourth most-streamed album of 2017 on Spotify.[77]

On April 5, 2022, Starboy was certified four-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and streams in excess of four million units in the United States.[78]

Track listing[edit]

Starboy standard edition
No.TitleWriter(s)ProducersLength
1."Starboy" (featuring Daft Punk)
3:50
2."Party Monster"
4:09
3."False Alarm"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Balshe
  • Diehl
  • Walter
  • Emmanuel Nickerson
  • Doc McKinney
  • The Weeknd
  • Cirkut[a]
  • Mano[a]
3:40
4."Reminder"
  • Tesfaye
  • Nickerson
  • McKinney
  • Dylan Wiggins
  • Walter
  • Quenneville
  • Doc McKinney
  • Mano
  • Cirkut
3:38
5."Rockin'"
  • Martin
  • Payami
  • The Weeknd[a]
3:52
6."Secrets"
  • Doc McKinney
  • The Weeknd
  • Cirkut
4:25
7."True Colors"3:26
8."Stargirl Interlude" (featuring Lana Del Rey)
1:51
9."Sidewalks" (featuring Kendrick Lamar)3:51
10."Six Feet Under"
3:57
11."Love to Lay"
  • Tesfaye
  • Martin
  • Svensson
  • Kotecha
  • Payami
  • Balshe
  • Martin
  • Payami
  • The Weeknd
3:43
12."A Lonely Night"
  • Tesfaye
  • Martin
  • Svensson
  • Kotecha
  • Payami
  • Balshe
  • Quenneville
  • Martin
  • Payami
3:40
13."Attention"
3:17
14."Ordinary Life"
  • Tesfaye
  • Martin
  • Svensson
  • Kotecha
  • Payami
  • Balshe
  • McKinney
  • Walter
  • Doc McKinney
  • Cirkut
3:41
15."Nothing Without You"
  • Diplo
  • Ben Billions
  • The Weeknd
  • Cirkut
3:18
16."All I Know" (featuring Future)
  • Tesfaye
  • Wilburn
  • Diehl
  • Høiberg
  • Balshe
  • Ben Billions
  • Cashmere Cat
  • The Weeknd
5:21
17."Die for You"
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Mejdi Rhars
  • Wiggins
  • Høiberg
  • Walsh
  • Walter
  • Doc McKinney
  • Cirkut
  • The Weeknd
  • Cashmere Cat[a]
  • Prince 85[a]
4:20
18."I Feel It Coming" (featuring Daft Punk)
  • Tesfaye
  • Bangalter
  • de Homem-Christo
  • McKinney
  • Walter
  • Eric Chedeville
  • Daft Punk
  • Doc McKinney[a]
  • Cirkut[a]
  • The Weeknd[a]
4:29
Total length:68:40
Japanese and US Target edition bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)ProducersLength
19."Starboy" (featuring Daft Punk) (Kygo remix)
  • Tesfaye
  • Bangalter
  • de Homem-Christo
  • McKinney
  • Walter
  • Quenneville
4:04
Total length:72:44
2023 deluxe edition
No.TitleWriter(s)ProducersLength
19."Die for You" (remix) (with Ariana Grande)
  • Tesfaye
  • McKinney
  • Rhars
  • Wiggins
  • Høiberg
  • Walsh
  • Walter
  • Doc McKinney
  • Cirkut
  • The Weeknd
  • Cashmere Cat[a]
  • Prince 85[a]
3:53
20."Starboy" (featuring Daft Punk) (Kygo remix)
  • Tesfaye
  • Bangalter
  • de Homem-Christo
  • McKinney
  • Walter
  • Quenneville
4:04
21."Reminder" (Young Thug and ASAP Rocky remix)
  • Doc McKinney
  • Mano
  • Cirkut
3:42
Total length:80:09

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies a remix producer
  • "Party Monster" features background vocals by Lana Del Rey
  • "Rockin'" features additional vocals by Kazue Lika Tatsushima
  • "Sidewalks" features additional vocals by Daniel Wilson
  • "Six Feet Under" features additional vocals by Future

Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from the album's liner notes.[79]

  • Cory Bice – assistant engineer (tracks 5, 11–12, 14)
  • Ben Billions – producer (tracks 2, 10, 15–16), engineer (tracks 2–3, 10, 15)
  • Benny Blanco – producer (tracks 7, 13)
  • Ryland Blackinton – guitar (track 12)
  • Bobby Raps – producer (track 9)
  • Cashmere Cat – producer (tracks 7, 13, 16), co-producer (track 17), additional vocals (track 13)
  • Simon Christianson – additional guitar (tracks 3, 17)
  • Cirkut – co-producer (tracks 1, 3, 18), engineer (tracks 1, 6, 14, 17–18), producer (tracks 4, 6, 10, 14–15, 17)
  • Tom Coyne – mastering (all tracks)
  • Lana Del Rey – backing vocals (track 2), featured artist (track 8)
  • Frank Dukes – producer (track 13)
  • Daft Punk – producers, featured artist (tracks 1, 18)
  • Diplo – producer (track 15)
  • Nathan East – bass (track 18)
  • Adrian Eccleston – acoustic guitar (track 6)
  • Robin Florent – assistant mix engineer (tracks 2, 4, 8–10, 15–16)
  • Future – additional vocals (track 10), featured artist (track 16)
  • Chris Galland – mix engineer (tracks 2, 4, 8–10, 15–16)
  • Şerban Ghenea – mixing (tracks 1, 3, 5–7, 11–14, 17–18)
  • John Hanes – mix engineer (tracks 1, 3, 5–7, 11–14, 17–18)
  • Sam Holland – engineer (tracks 5, 11–12)
  • Jeff Jackson – assistant mix engineer (tracks 2, 4, 8–10, 15–16)
  • Paul Jackson Jr. – guitar (track 18)
  • Labrinth – producer (track 8)
  • Florian Lagatta – engineer (tracks 1, 18)
  • Kendrick Lamar – featured artist (track 9)
  • Jeremy Lertola – assistant engineer (tracks 5, 11–12, 14); handclaps (track 11)
  • Mano – co-producer (track 3), producer (track 4)
  • Manny Marroquin – mixing (tracks 2, 4, 8–10, 15–16)
  • Max Martin – producer (tracks 5, 11–12); guitar (track 11)
  • Doc McKinney – executive producer, co-producer (tracks 1, 18), engineer (tracks 1–4, 6, 8–10, 14, 16–18), producer (tracks 2–4, 6, 8–10, 14, 17)
  • Aya Merrill – mastering (all tracks)
  • Raphael Mesquita – engineer (track 15)
  • Metro Boomin – producer (track 10)
  • Ali Shaheed Muhammad – producer (track 9)
  • Jake One – producer (track 7)
  • Noah "Mailbox" Passovoy – engineer (track 12)
  • Ali Payami – producer (tracks 5, 11–12)
  • Prince 85 – co-producer (track 17)
  • JR Robinson – drums (track 18)
  • David Schwerkolt – engineer (tracks 7, 13)
  • Josh Smith – engineer (tracks 1–4, 6, 8–10, 15–18)
  • Peter Svensson – guitar (track 11)
  • Swish – producer (track 7)
  • Kazue Lika Tatsushima – additional vocals (track 5)
  • The Weeknd – executive producer, co-producer (tracks 1, 5, 18), producer (tracks 2–3, 6–7, 10–11, 13, 15–17)
  • Dylan Wiggins – keyboards (tracks 4, 6); bass (tracks 4, 18); drums (track 5); synth bass (track 17)
  • Daniel Wilson – additional vocals, additional producer (track 9)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Certifications for Starboy
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[185] 2× Platinum 140,000
Austria (IFPI Austria)[186] Platinum 15,000*
Belgium (BEA)[187] Platinum 30,000
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[188] Gold 20,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[189] 7× Platinum 560,000
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[190] 6× Platinum 120,000
France (SNEP)[191] 3× Platinum 300,000
Germany (BVMI)[192] Platinum 200,000
Iceland (FHF)[193] Gold 3,500[194]
Italy (FIMI)[195] 2× Platinum 100,000
Mexico (AMPROFON)[196] Platinum+Gold 90,000
New Zealand (RMNZ)[197] 4× Platinum 60,000
Norway (IFPI Norway)[198] Platinum 30,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[199] 4× Platinum 80,000
Portugal (AFP)[200] Gold 7,500^
Singapore (RIAS)[201] Platinum 10,000*
Sweden (GLF)[202] 2× Platinum 80,000
United Kingdom (BPI)[203] 2× Platinum 600,000
United States (RIAA)[78] 4× Platinum 4,000,000

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats for Starboy
Region Date Label(s) Format(s) Edition Ref.
Various November 25, 2016 Standard [204]
United States November 28, 2016 CD [205]
Brazil December 16, 2016 Universal [206]
United States March 10, 2023
  • XO
  • Republic
Digital download Deluxe [207]
Various March 14, 2023
  • Digital download
  • streaming
[208]
Europe September 29, 2023 CD [209]
United States October 9, 2023 [210]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

Citations[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c d McCormick, Neil (November 25, 2016). "The Weeknd's Starboy is glistening, interstellar R&B of the highest quality – review". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on November 27, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Glaysher, Scott (November 28, 2016). "The Weeknd Starboy Album Review". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Reeves, Mosi (November 28, 2016). "Review: The Weeknd's 'Starboy'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
  5. ^ "The Weeknd Hints at His Next Album Release". The Source. March 13, 2016. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  6. ^ "The Weeknd Is Reportedly Working with Daft Punk". Complex. August 23, 2016. Archived from the original on August 24, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  7. ^ Horner, Al (September 7, 2016). "The Weeknd reveals his new album is inspired by The Smiths and David Cronenberg". Fact. Archived from the original on October 12, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
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  9. ^ Bruner, Raisa (September 21, 2016). "The Weeknd Teases Details About His New Album". Time. Archived from the original on October 10, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016 – via Time Inc.
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  11. ^ "The Weeknd announces Starboy album with artwork by Nabil". Fact. September 21, 2016. Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
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  16. ^ Trendell, Andrew (November 18, 2016). "The Weeknd unveils new track 'I Feel It Coming' featuring Daft Punk". NME. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
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  20. ^ Pizzo, Mike (November 30, 2016). "Album review: The Weeknd explores sonic space on 'Starboy'". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  21. ^ DeVille, Chris (November 23, 2016). "The Weeknd's "Secrets" Samples Tears For Fears & The Romantics". Stereogum. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  22. ^ Bassett, Jordan (September 22, 2016). "Track Review: The Weeknd And Daft Punk Collaborate On 'Starboy', But It's Not Quite The Dream Team-Up You Might Think". NME. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
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  27. ^ J. DiMeglio, Mary (September 30, 2016). "The Weeknd Unveils Second New 'Starboy' Single, the Frantic 'False Alarm': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved March 12, 2024.
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External links[edit]