The Weeknd is taking his talents to television with a new series the performer is co-writing for HBO.
The Blinding Lights singer, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, will also star in the project which he is making alongside Reza Fahim and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson. Titled The Idol, the series centres on a female pop singer who starts a romance with an enigmatic L.A. club owner who is the leader of a secret cult.
In addition to Euphoria, Levinson also executive produced the black and white Netflix film Malcolm and Marie with Zendaya and John David Washington.
Tesfaye is not a newcomer to the world of television, having previously written and started in an episode of adult animation American Dad in 2020. On the acting front, he also played himself in the critically-acclaimed film Uncut Gems opposite Adam Sandler.
It’s been a big six months for the award-winning artist, who kicked of the year by performing at the Super Bowl half-time show, spending $9 million of his own hard-earned cash to bring his vision to life.
The Canadian Grammy-winner put on a performance that engaged viewers both at home and in attendance at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, at one point running into a visually stunning gold mirrored maze surrounded by performers dressed like him, albeit donning white bandage masks — replicating his Heartless and Blinding Light’s video clips.
Given that Blinding Lights was one of the biggest hits of 2020 (spurred on by a TikTok dance challenge) The Weeknd’s lack of nominations was certainly a surprise.
In response, the award-winning performer did not attend the March 14 ceremony and will refrain from submitting his work for consideration to the Recording Academy going forward.
“Because of the secret committees, I will no longer allow my label to submit my music to the Grammys,” Tesfaye said in a statement to The New York Times.
In better news for the singer, he went on to sweep the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, taking home seven including top male artist, top radio songs artist, top R&B artist and top R&B male artist.