It’s been more than a year since The Weeknd first introduced the world to the bloodied, bandaged-face persona that would front his successful fourth album cycle for After Hours.
It all started on one hazy-yet-unforgettable night in Vegas, captured in the initial “Heartless” music video, where a sharply dressed Weeknd and Metro Boomin parade around Sin City and revel in its sights. The accompanying visual for “Blinding Lights” picked up where “Heartless” left off, only this time, the red suit jacket-, black leather glove-, and sunglasses-wearing superstar drunkenly swerved through the cold and empty city, blood dribbling down his face and gushing from his mouth after he’s beaten up by bouncers at a club.
One (of many to come) face bandages first appeared during his “Blinding Lights” performance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! And while XO fans saw the utter anguish on his face when he loses it in his “After Hours” mini-film, the “In Your Eyes” video finds The Weeknd losing something else: his head. Next, two women stumble upon his head in the even gorier “Too Late” video and reattach it onto another man’s body. But after sporting full-face bandages while performing and accepting two awards at the 2020 American Music Awards, he saved the final reveal of his faux facial enhancements gone wrong for the “Save Your Tears” music video.
In an interview with Variety, the “Can’t Feel My Face” singer finally peeled back the layers behind the bandages, explaining, “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. It’s all a progression and we watch The Character’s storyline hit heightened levels of danger and absurdity as his tale goes on.”
Billboard tracked down each time we watched The Weeknd transform into his After Hours character throughout his developing storyline. Find the timeline below:
Dec. 3, 2019: “Heartless” music video
Dec. 5, 2019: “Heartless” and “Blinding Lights” The Late Show with Stephen Colbert performances
Jan. 21, 2020: “Blinding Lights” music video
Jan. 23, 2020: “Blinding Lights” Jimmy Kimmel Live! performance
March 4, 2020: “After Hours” short film
March 7, 2020: “Blinding Lights” and “Scared to Live” Saturday Night Live performances
March 23, 2020: “In Your Eyes” music video
April 7, 2020: “Until I Bleed Out” music video
May 5, 2020: “Blinding Lights” (Chromatics Remix) music video
July 22, 2020: “Snowchild” music video
Aug. 30, 2020: “Blinding Lights” MTV VMAs performance
Oct. 20, 2020: “Too Late” music video
Nov. 22, 2020: “Save Your Tears” / “In Your Eyes” AMAs performance
Nov. 23, 2020: “Alone Again” Vevo live performance
Nov. 24, 2020: “In Your Eyes” feat. Kenny G Vevo live performance
Nov. 25, 2020: “Faith” Vevo live performance
Dec. 3, 2020: “Blinding Lights” remix feat. Rosalía lyrics video
Jan. 5, 2021: “Save Your Tears” music video