In recent years, Toronto has been celebrated as the birthplace of some of hip hop, R&B and pop’s most exciting artists. So much of our homegrown talent have accomplished big things on a global scale, which makes it extra thrilling when a Canuck superstar returns to their old stomping grounds and pumps our winter tires full of warm, tingly pride.
Last night, that Toronto pride exuded from The Weeknd or, as of lately, Starboy, at the inaugural iHeart Radio Canada Jingle Ball, where he couldn’t help but declare his love for his hometown—over and over again—in between each electric song he performed.
The Oscar-nominated, Grammy-winning Torontonian spent his album release evening at the Jingle Ball with 20,000 of his closest friends—er, screaming fans—after kicking off the Starboy festivities with a free listening party in Toronto on Thursday night. Following a week back in Toronto, it was clear the pop sensation, real name Abel Tesfaye, is pretty jazzed about his new album and the city he hails from.
“My album just dropped—I’ve just been partying here for two days straight.” As you should, Abel.
“Toronto, this is the biggest party in the world right now.” The crowd agreed.
“I want to dedicate this next song to Toronto. The energy in this city is so good right now. The vibe is so beautiful,” The Weeknd said, before launching into his vocals from the OG Drake favourite, “Crew Love,” which sent the crowd into hysterics.
“This song represents where I am—my life and where Toronto is. We are definitely unstoppable,” the singer declared before his pulsing performance of “Starboy,” the title track from his brand new release.
The first-ever iHeart Radio Canada Jingle Ball also featured outstanding performances from Niall Horan, The Chainsmokers, Alessia Cara, Belly, Serena Ryder, Hedley and More.
You can grab The Weeknd’s Starboy now, out via XO and Republic Records.