The Weeknd cemented his place as 2015’s breakout star with a performance of his summer smash, “Can’t Feel My Face,” followed by a powerful reworking of his latest single, “In the Night,” at the Grammy Awards Monday.
Clad in a sharp tuxedo, the Weeknd opened with an exhilarating, but truncated, performance of “Can’t Feel My Face,” before drastically changing directions for “In the Night.” Stepping off a flashing, LED-lit platform, the Weeknd teamed with pianist and cellist, who helped him turn the throwback dance jam into a poignant, powerful orchestral ballad.
“Can’t Feel My Face” is still up for Record of the Year, while the Weeknd’s 2015 LP Beauty Behind the Madness will also vie for Album of the Year. The R&B star was nominated for seven Grammys, two of which he already won: Best R&B Performance for his 50 Shades of Grey hit, “Earned It,” and Best Urban Contemporary Album for Beauty Behind the Madness.
The Weeknd shot from underground favorite to chart-topper last year on the strength of back-to-back Number One singles, “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face” off Beauty Behind the Madness. The singer also scored a top 10 hit with “Earned It,” initially released on the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack.
Last October, the Weeknd graced the cover of Rolling Stone, in which he recalled how a less-than-favorable performance at Coachella in 2012 inspired him to throw himself completely into his work. “I was afraid I’d see somebody else up there and be like, ‘You’re trying to tell me they’re better than me?'” he said. “‘Why? Because they’ve got a couple of smash records? I can do smashes. I could figure it out.’ And to be honest with you, it’s been, what, a couple of years now? And it feels great. I feel great.”