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The Weeknd returns with new single, ‘Heartless’

The Weeknd in a promotional shoot for 'After Hours'. Melissa Mahood / SAL&CO

It’s been more than a year since The Weeknd teased fans that he was working on his fourth studio album, and now, he’s just released a brand new single, Heartless.

Not including the handful of collaborative efforts the Toronto-born musician has contributed to in the last 19 months, his last original song dropped in March 2018.

Heartless was released early Wednesday morning as the upcoming record’s lead single after the 29-year-old singer posted a series of cryptic messages to his social media accounts earlier this week.

He tweeted first on Monday writing, “The fall begins tomorrow.” Then on Tuesday, the pop star wrote: “TONIGHT WE START A BRAIN MELTING PSYCHOTIC CHAPTER LET’S GOOOO.”

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Many fans were shocked with the release of Heartless, not only for its tones of “toxic masculinity,” but because they were initially under the impression that they would hear a different single by The Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye), under the name Blinding Lights.

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A snippet of the upcoming song was featured in a German TV commercial on Sunday for a new model of Mercedes-Benz cars.

The Weeknd starred in the commercial, which later reveals that Blinding Lights will actually premiere on Friday.

Along with the single, a “full film with The Weeknd” will debut on the official Mercedes-Benz YouTube channel, which is expected to explore the electric European car in greater detail.

The Weeknd’s last studio album was the Daft Punk collaborative effort, Starboy (2016). It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Canadian Music Chart. It also spawned two top 10 singles and was certified double-platinum by the RIAA.

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In 2018, he put out the critically acclaimed My Dear Melancholy EP, which was a return to his early mixtape roots. The release was The Weeknd’s last original content and included the smash-hit single Call Out My Name.

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Heartless is now available through all major streaming platforms.

It’s unclear when The Weeknd’s fourth studio album will be released.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca