Fresh off a massive headlining performance at Coachella, in which he was basically the only artist who could replace Kanye West after a last-minute cancelation, The Weeknd no longer has to prove his star power. The self-proclaimed Starboy (sorry, had to) is locked into a massive deal with Universal Music Group, who have doubled down on their partnership with the artist. Given his excellent new album, Dawn FM, and 2020’s massive release, After Hours, it’s not surprising that UMG now wants to partner with Abel Tesfaye on all “recorded music, publishing, merchandise and video.”
According to Variety, UMG will remain The Weeknd’s home for all things label-related, and take over his future music publishing rights once a deal with Kobalt expires. Universal’s merchandising arm, Bravado, will work with XO on “global merchandising, branding, ecommerce and retail licensing opportunities around future projects and releases.” Also, Republic and UMG will handle all future audiovisual projects. So basically, everything he might get into over the future course of his career.
UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge said the following about the partnership: “Over the past decade, we have been honored to work so closely with Abel, who has quickly become one of music’s most creative and important artists—a once-in-a-generation talent. With Sal and the XO team as our incredible partners, we’ve developed a deep trust and respect that has enabled us to successfully execute Abel’s brilliant vision.”