The Weeknd refused to hold off on album release amid pandemic

The Weeknd stuck to his original release date for his new project “After Hours,” and it’s paying off.

Lars Hagberg / AFP via Getty Images

According to TMZ, The Weeknd was feeling pressure from music executives to delay the release of his album as coronavirus reached the United States, even though he had announced the March 20 release date before the pandemic. Had the artist gone ahead and pushed the date, he wouldn’t have been alone; among others, Lady Gaga delayed the release of her album “Chromatic” saying it didn’t “feel right” to her, given the pandemic.

For execs on The Weeknd’s team, they were concerned that the 30-year-old singer wouldn’t be given the normal opportunities to promote his music, as TV appearances were few and far between with Hollywood shutting down.

However, The Weeknd, whose new album is his first full-length since 2016’s “Starboy,” decided to push forward and give his fans a distraction and new music in these times filled with suffering and darkness. The decision paid off; the album has already received 1 billion streams in the first week.

The Weeknd is expected to kick off his The After Hours World Tour this summer. His schedule consists of 57 dates in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Belgium, Germany and France. The tour is planned to launch on June 11 in Vancouver.

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