The Weeknd’s new album dropped on Friday, but the release was bittersweet for fans.
Most were undoubtedly excited at the appearance of the artist’s fourth studio album and “After Hours” remained high on the list of Twitter’s trending topics for most of the day. But just prior to the album being made available to The Weeknd’s enormous fan base, news came through that one of the singer’s loyal supporters would not get the opportunity to hear it.
Lance, who was known online as XOPODCAST, ran the “After Hours podcast” and credited Abel Tesfaye’s music with helping him through dark periods in his life. The pair had a few interactions on social media that Lance also held dear. Unfortunately this was not enough, as his partner of three years shared online that a three-year battle with mental illness and addiction ultimately claimed the podcaster’s life. She stated that “he would truly want all of you to listen to [“After Hours”] in his name and not be sad for him but celebrate his name.”
The Weeknd reacted with sadness when he heard the news and chose to dedicate his new project to the late fam. “RIP LANCE aka XOPODCAST,” he wrote on Twitter. “You were one of the true original backbones of my XO fan base. Can’t believe I’m finding out about this today. I’m dedicating After Hours to you, my friend.”
With “After Hours” only having been out for about 24 hours, the “Blinding Lights” singer should be quite thrilled with its performance. The album has so far broken a record for the most pre-saves in Apple Music history with over 1 million pre-orders. The lead single, “Blinding Lights”, has also reached 4th spot on the Billboard Hot 100, in addition to peaking atop the charts in various other countries.
RIP LANCE aka XOPODCAST. you were one of the true original backbones of my XO fan base. Can’t believe i’m finding out about this today. I’m dedicating After Hours to you, my friend.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) March 19, 2020