Looking into the future? The Weeknd unveiled a dramatic new transformation on the cover of his latest album, Dawn FM, turning into the older version of himself.
“Album cover // pre-save,” the artist, 31, captioned a Twitter post on Tuesday, January 4, where he can be seen with graying hair, wrinkles and age spots.
Fans sounded off in the comments about his new album cover with one joking, “Is this supposed to show us how much we waited for Dawn FM?”
Meanwhile, another speculated, “Basically what he is saying to us is that he is getting too old for this music life and that he feels like he is pressured to make music now because the fans want him more than ever.”
The “I Feel It Coming” performer (real name: Abel Tesfaye) first teased that this new album was around the corner on New Year’s Day, sharing a screengrab of a text message discussing his never-before-heard music.
“Everything feels chaotic again,” he wrote in the message shared on his Instagram. “Music can heal and that feels more important than another album rollout. Let’s just drop the whole thing and enjoy it with the people.”
The Weeknd also surprised fans with a teaser clip ending in a radio voiceover ahead of his album release on Friday, January 7.
“You are now listening to 103.5: Dawn FM,” the voice said. “You’ve been in the dark for way too long. It’s time to walk into the light and accept your fate with open arms.”
A dramatic transformation in the name of music has become The Weeknd’s signature move, especially after his Super Bowl 2021 halftime performance following his appearance at the 2020 American Music Awards, during both of which his head was covered entirely in bandages.
“The significance of the entire head bandages is reflecting on the absurd culture of Hollywood celebrity and people manipulating themselves for superficial reasons to please and be validated,” he told Variety about the significance of his new look at the time. “It’s all a progression and we watch The Character’s storyline hit heightened levels of danger and absurdity as his tale goes on.”
In January 2021, the Toronto native debuted another extreme look for his music video “Save Your Tears,” making it appear as though he underwent plastic surgery. It was later revealed to be CGI and prosthetics courtesy of Prosthetic Renaissance, a special effects makeup studio that specializes in transformations.
Ahead of his new release, the Weeknd’s online shop features his album cover showing him as an elderly man but also includes two alternate covers for Dawn FM, described as Collector’s 01 and Collector’s 02 editions.