|Canadian singer/songwriter The Abel Tesfaye a.k.a The Weeknd performs during the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at the Grand Palais in Paris on November 30, 2016. — AFP Photo|Viet Nam News
NEW YORK — The Weeknd has ended Drake’s long reign as king of Spotify, with the singer topping the rapper in monthly listeners on the world’s leading streaming service.
The Weeknd, whose new album Starboy came out November 25, had close to 37.5 million listeners in November - more than one third of all Spotify users.
He edged out Drake - a fellow Torontonian who supported The Weeknd early in his career - who had just under 36 million monthly listeners.
Spotify, releasing data late Saturday, also confirmed that Starboy broke the record for streams in its first week, with listeners playing it 223 million times.
Starboy, released just one year after The Weeknd’s breakthrough album Beauty Behind the Madness, is a sprawling work of R&B and electronica on which the singer collaborates with elusive French duo Daft Punk.
Drake had been the biggest artist in terms of monthly listeners since May after the rapper released his long-awaited album Views, featuring viral hits such as One Dance and Hotline Bling.
Spotify, in earlier figures for 2016 so far, said that Drake was the most streamed artist for a second straight year - a ranking which does not change.
Drake’s success on Spotify comes even though he has a close relationship with rival Apple, through which he released Views exclusively for its first week. — AFP