The Weeknd took home the first award of the night at the 2020 American Music Awards on Sunday (Nov 22) and he didn’t just make headlines for snagging a trophy — it was also because of what he looked like doing it. With a bandaged and bruised face, many wondered exactly what happened to him before taking the stage. But it turns out, it’s nothing actually: it’s just a clever bit of album promotion.
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The Weeknd had a similar appearance at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards that had people curious. With visible bruising and a mummy-like bandaged face, it appeared as if he’d been in a serious accident on the way to the awards and chose to take the stage in lieu of receiving medical help.
The good news is that The Weeknd isn’t actually hurt. In an interview with Esquire earlier this year, he explained that this bruised and delicious aesthetic, that’s been prominent in the videos that he’s released from After Hours so far during this rollout, is a part of the creative feel of the project — particularly its second single, “Blinding Lights.”
“‘Blinding Lights’ [is about] how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights,” he said. “But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”
The Weeknd — who ended up taking home the awards for Favorite Song - Soul/R&B (“Heartless”) and Favorite Album - Soul/R&B (After Hours) — is set to perform at next year’s Super Bowl Halftime show.
Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for dcp