When The Weeknd sang “I can’t feel my face when I’m with you,” we didn’t think this is what he meant.
High-profile award shows are like the American Music Awards are usually where music celebrities don their most ravishing outfits to stun photographers. Not for Grammy-winning The Weeknd though, who accepted his award for Favorite Soul/R&B Album, Favorite Song, and Favorite Male Artist at the awards show last Sunday with his face all battered, bruised, and wrapped up in bandages.
Throughout the event, the Canadian artist, born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, was seen with bandages completely wrapping his forehead and under his chin, his nose seeming bent and broken, and his eyes purple and swollen, which all looked more than disconcerting, especially on the red carpet.
But while concerning, it’s all part of The Weeknd’s plan, who seems to sustain more injuries with every public event he attends, to promote his newest album After Hours.
As fans would recall, he also performed on an episode of Saturday Night Live sporting the same red suit and his roughed-up look, and then again at the MTV’s VMAs last August with even more wounds.
But why does it have to be so bloody? To explain, The Weeknd shares the following in an interview with Esquire:
Blinding Lights’ [is about] how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights.
But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.
This kind of mysterious yet measured metaphors is, after all, what fuels After Hours which, in track after track, expresses the dark narrative of The Weeknd’s slowly-unraveling persona.
Okay, so the dude’s fine — that means the Internet can finally pounce on the chance to both commend the R&B icon for his creative choice… and make memes out of it.
Jokes aside, The Weeknd’s musical talent and artistic drive is unquestionable — even if the Grammys won’t acknowledge it, at least his AMA awards did.