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The Weeknd's Starboy debuts at No 1 on Billboard 200

The week The Weeknd proved the lyrics of Starboy weren't just empty boasts: The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, shifting 348,000 equivalent album units for the week ending on December 1. These figures mean that The Weekend enjoyed the third biggest opening week of the year. Only Drake's Views and Beyonce's Lemonade enjoyed bigger debuts, shifting 1.04 million and 653,000 units respectively.

209,000 of The Weeknd's Starboy sales were traditional album sales. The equivalent album count takes into account track sales and streaming figures.

The Weeknd discusses substance use inspiration behind Starboy

Starboy sees The Weeknd, AKA Abel Tesfaye, return to the heavy subject matter of his earlier hits. Lead single Starboy in particular doesn't shy away from discussion of substance use. Tesfaye opened up on the subject in a recent Guardian interview, commenting:

"When I had nothing to do but make music, it was very heavy. Drugs were a crutch for me. There were songs on my first record that were seven minutes long, rambling – whatever thoughts I was having when I was under the influence at the time. I can’t see myself doing that now."

Despite the change in path, Tesfaye admitted that substance use helped inspire some of the material on Starboy:

"I’ll be completely honest with you. The past couple of albums, I do get back to [using drugs as a crutch]. Even on this new album. You have writer’s block. And sometimes you’re like, I can’t do this sober."

Dance kings Daft Punk add magic touch to album closer I Feel It Coming

The album featured a number of high profile collaborations, namely Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, Future and the kings of dance Daft Punk. The French duo added a darker touch to lead single Starboy. They also contributed to album closer and second single I Feel It Coming, which showcased their more well-known ability to craft flawless dance/pop hits. Hopefully the duo will return for more work with the Weeknd in the future.