The Weeknd headed into 2020 more than ready to deliver his fourth studio album After Hours with full force. Prior to the launch of the project, the singles “Heartless,” “Blinding Lights,” and title track “After Hours” were released as teasers. Videos for the songs were also offered and fans of the pop hitmaker got to see the artist’s new aesthetic — The Weeknd donned a sharp red suit with his face battered, bruised and bloody. He would carry this look for the rest of the year in other videos and live performances as his new signature persona. The videos and the overall feel of After Hours were also inspired by movies like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Joker, Casino, and Uncut Gems. The latter, being a film that the 30-year star appeared in the year prior alongside famed actor Adam Sandler.
After Hours debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and was also accompanied by official merchandise under his XO label and a small capsule in collaboration with Japanese streetwear imprint READYMADE. The Weeknd planned an album tour for the year but was cancelled due to COVID-19. However, official remixes alongside other mega artists like Lil Uzi, Major Lazer and Doja Cat also dropped, keeping The Weeknd fans fully satisfied for the year. Still, the celebrity crooner wanted to add to his already-impressive 2020 — a project with Spotify involving artificial intelligence debuted and he was also signed by Robot Chicken to voice multiple characters for a few episodes.