The numbers are in, and it’s official: the Guinness World Records have just named The Weeknd the most popular artist in the world.
If you’re wondering how the organization came to that conclusion, it’s all about the data — Spotify data, that is. They analyzed Spotify data for some of the biggest artists in the industry, looking at numbers that include the number of monthly listeners on the platform. The Toronto artist also known as Abel Tesfaye racked up 111.4 million Spotify listeners monthly as of March 20, almost 30 million more listeners than second-place artist Miley Cyrus, with 82.4 million.
He’s also well surpassed Shakira at 81.6 million listeners, his “Die For You” pal Ariana Grande’s 80.6 million, Taylor Swift’s 80.2 million and Rihanna’s 78.5 million. The only male artist that has come close to his tally is Ed Sheeran, with 77.5 million monthly listeners.
Guinness World Records also announced he set the record of being the first artist to reach 100 million monthly listeners on Spotify in February, though he’s obviously more than broken his own record since then (perhaps Guinness should edit that honour to be the first artist to reach 110 million monthly listeners?).
If you’re an Apple Music listener and are feeling skeptical, The Weeknd has the accolades to prove it: he won four awards, including artist of the year and pop album of the year, at the Juno Awards this past month, bringing his tally to 21. He also broke the record for the most consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 by a solo male artist, and recently the original “Die For You” topped the charts six years after its release, marking the longest climb to number one on the Hot 100 for a non-holiday song in history.
Whether he’s your favourite artist or not, we’re feeling pretty proud that a musician from Toronto has earned this major honour!