The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights has topped Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You to become Spotify’s most-streamed song of all time.
The song has so far (as of January 3, 2023) racked up 3.336 billion chart-eligible streams on the music-streaming platform, exceeding 3.334 billion streams for Shape of You.
Tones & I’s Dance Monkey is in at No.3 with 2.538 billion streams, according to Spotify chart data, with Lewis Capaldi’s Someone You Loved (2.520bn) and Post Malone’s Sunflower (2.419bn) rounding out the Top 5.
The Weeknd celebrated the feat on Twitter on December 31, saying: “[H]appy new years to blinding lights. the most streamed song of all time tonight @Spotify”
The Canadian singer released the song in November 2019 as the second single from his fourth studio album, After Hours, which dropped in March 2020.
The song was co-produced by the artist alongside Swedish musicians Max Martin and Oscar Holter and Canadian musicians Belly and DaHeala.
The Spotify feat follows Blinding Lights’ success on the Billboard Hot 100 charts where it topped for four weeks and held a spot in the top 10 for a year.
Speaking about the achievement in March 2021, The Weeknd, born Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, said: “This Billboard chart record is truly a result of the fans. I’m so humbled and forever grateful to them.”
The track became Billboard’s No. 1 song of all time in November 2021 and has since kept that spot on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs to date. It dethroned Chubby Checker’s The Twist and Santana’s Smooth with Rob Thomas.
Blinding Lights was also The Weeknd’s closer during his Super Bowl LV halftime show in February 2021.
On YouTube, the music video for Blinding Lights amassed 663 million views as of writing.
The popularity of Blinding Lights is partly attributed to a dance challenge on TikTok. Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times, said the #blindinglightschallenge on TikTok “has been ubiquitous, among the most wholesome of all viral dances.”
The critic described the song as something that could have been taken out of a Jazzercise tape from 1986.
“It says a lot about the durability of the Weeknd’s early noir, the full commitment to the louche aesthetic he embodied — see his cameo in Uncut Gems, which depends on it — that even the raging centrist popularity of Blinding Lights can’t disinter it,” Caramanica said in a 2020 article.
The Weeknd has to date received 20 Billboard Music Awards, six American Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards and four Grammy Awards.
However, in 2021, The Weeknd said he is boycotting The Grammys due to a lack of trust in teh awards.
“The trust has been broken for so long between the Grammy organization and artists that it would be unwise to raise a victory flag,” the artist told Variety in 2021.
“I think the industry and public alike need to see the transparent system truly at play for the win to be celebrated, but it’s an important start… I remain uninterested in being a part of the GRAMMYS especially with their own admission of corruption for all these decades. I will not be submitting in the future,” The Weeknd continued.
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