Culture Wikia

"Starboy" is a song recorded by Canadian singer The Weeknd for his third studio album of the same name, featuring French electronic duo Daft Punk. The artists co-wrote the song with Doc McKinney and Henry Walter.[3] Daft Punk handled the majority of the song's production, with McKinney and Cirkut serving as co-producers. It was released on September 22, 2016, by XO and Republic Records, as the first single from the album.

Contents 1 Background and composition 2 Music video 2.1 Background and development 2.2 Synopsis 2.3 Reception and accolades 3 Commercial performance 4 Charts 4.1 Weekly charts 5 Release history 6 References 7 External links

Background and composition[]

"Starboy" was released on September 22, 2016, following the announcement of the album and its accompanying artwork a day earlier.[4]

The song incorporates themes of the extravagance associated with a celebrity lifestyle, as well as discussing how the celebrity lifestyle can make an entertainer fragile.[5]

The song is written in the key of A minor.

Music video[]

Background and development

The official music video for the song was directed by frequent collaborator Grant Singer, who directed the singer's previous music video for "Can't Feel My Face" and "The Hills". It was released through The Weeknd's official Vevo account on September 28, 2016 on YouTube along with an accompanying poster which Rolling Stone described it as a "pulp-horror-inspired film poster."[6] The video has been described as the singer's attempt to kill his former/old persona, perhaps signaling he is reinventing himself with this new album,[7] by suffocating himself, clipping his old hairstyle, and crushing his glass-framed platinum records.[8]

Several cars that were mentioned in the song's lyrics were featured in the video including the Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster which he sings in his second verse: "Pull off in that Roadster SV/ Pockets overweight, getting hefty," a Bentley Mulsanne: "No competition, I don't really listen/ I'm in the blue Mulsanne bumping New Edition," and the McLaren P1: "I'm trying to put you in the worst mood/ P1 cleaner than your church shoes."[8] The Weekend used his own McLaren P1 in the video. Billboard approached John Paolo Canton, McLaren Automotive's director of public relations to find out who the car belonged to, which the site said in order to feature such an expensive car "even the world's biggest carmaker couldn't afford product placement like this, let alone a boutique British brand. Canton later confirmed that the car did belong to the singer.[8]


The song as well as the video prominently features the McLaren P1 which he drives at the end of the video on Mulholland Drive.[8]

In the video, a man in a black ski mask and dimond-encrusted cross is sitting across from The Weeknd, who is zip tied on his hands and ankles. The figure then kills The Weeknd by strangling him with a plastic bag. The figure is revealed to be The Weeknd himself, a new incarnation of the Starboy era (his other self represented the older version of the singer from the height of his Beauty Behind the Madness era). He then walks through a house full of awards that he's received, as well as a portrait of Daft Punk (who otherwise do not appear in the video) and a cat. When he comes upon a large glowing red neon cross, he destroys various items with it (evidence and history of his past that represents his former self), including numerous trophies and posters and a crystal chandelier before setting the closet on fire. Walking through the garage, he passes several high-end automobiles before deciding on a McLaren P1 and drives off with a black cat in the passenger seat, which transforms into a panther as he rides off into the night in Mulholland Drive.

Reception and accolades

Kat Bein of Billboard who called the track "dark, bossy, and alluring" commented that the music video is "equally moody".[9] Slate magazine drew comparison of the video to Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video, which he has been compared to frequently for his musical style. The bleak focus on celebrity and transformation, as well as the morphing of the cat into a black panther were some of the aesthetics that resembles Jackson's video.[10]

The video was nominated for Best Video at the 2016 MTV Europe Music Awards a day before its release, when the nomination was announced, leading to many observers to wonder whether it was included based on merit or instead as a result of the singer's popularity at the channel.[11]

Commercial performance[]

In the United States, "Starboy" debuted at number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the issue dated October 8, 2016. The single opened at number 22 on Digital Songs with 28,000 downloads. On Radio Songs, it opened at number 37 following its first week of airplay (36 million in audience). The song also became Daft Punk's fourth top 40 hit.[12]


Weekly charts

Chart (2016)



Australia (ARIA)[13] 9

Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[14] 27

Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[15] 22

Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[16] 55

Canada CHR/Top 40 (Billboard)[17] 25

Czech Republic (Singles Digitál Top 100)[18] 7

Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[19] 5

France (SNEP)[20] 31

Germany (Official German Charts)[21] 13

Ireland (IRMA)[22] 9

Italy (FIMI)[23] 24

Mexico Ingles Airplay (Billboard)[24] 46

Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[25] 29

Netherlands (Single Top 100)[26] 9

New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[27] 5

Norway (VG-lista)[28] 2

Scotland (Official Charts Company)[29] 9

Slovakia (Singles Digitál Top 100)[30] 2

Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[31] 2

Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[32] 2

UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[33] 3

US Billboard Hot 100[34] 40

US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[35] 12

US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[36] 25

US Rhythmic (Billboard)[37] 29

Release history[]






Worldwide September 22, 2016 Digital download XO ·


Italy September 23, 2016 Contemporary hit radio Universal [39]

United Kingdom

XO ·


United States September 27, 2016 [41] Rhythmic contemporary [42]


1.Jump up ^ McCormick, Luke (September 6, 2016). "The Weeknd Reveals Some Details About His New Album In VMAN Cover Story". The Fader. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 2.Jump up ^ 3.Jump up ^ "Starboy - The Weeknd". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 4.Jump up ^ "The Weeknd Reveals His New Album Starboy". Spin. 5.Jump up ^ Bassett, Jordan (September 22, 2016). "The Weeknd And Daft Punk Collaborate On 'Starboy', But It's Not Quite The Dream Team-Up You Might Think". NME. Retrieved September 28, 2016. 6.Jump up ^ Brittany Spanos (September 28, 2016). "Watch the Weeknd Destroy His Past in Gritty, Symbolic 'Starboy' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 7.Jump up ^ Mary J. DiMeglio (September 30, 2016). "The Weeknd Unveils Second New 'Starboy' Single, the Frantic 'False Alarm': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 8.^ Jump up to: a b c d Brett Berk (September 28, 2016). "The Weeknd's 'Starboy' Lyrics & Video a Love Letter to Luxury Cars". Billboard. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 9.Jump up ^ Kat Bein (September 28, 2016). "Watch The Weeknd & Daft Punk's 'Starboy' Music Video". Billboard. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 10.Jump up ^ David Canfield (September 28, 2016). "The Weeknd Confronts His Past in the Michael Jackson–Influenced Video for "Starboy"". Slate. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 11.Jump up ^ James Geddes (September 30, 2016). "The Weeknd's New 'Starboy' Video For Daft Punk Song Collaboration Released, Nominated For MTV EMA [Video]". Tech Times. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 12.Jump up ^ "The Chainsmokers' 'Closer' Leads Hot 100 for Sixth Week & D.R.A.M.'s 'Broccoli' Hits Top 10". Billboard. September 26, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2016. 13.Jump up ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. October 3, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 14.Jump up ^ " – The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – Starboy" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 15.Jump up ^ " – The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – Starboy" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 16.Jump up ^ "The Weeknd – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for The Weeknd. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 17.Jump up ^ "The Weeknd – Chart history" Billboard Canada CHR/Top 40 for The Weeknd. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 18.Jump up ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201639 into search. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 19.Jump up ^ "The Weeknd: Starboy (Feat. Daft Punk)" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 20.Jump up ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Singles Téléchargés - SNEP (Week 38, 2016)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved September 25, 2016. 21.Jump up ^ " – The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – Starboy". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 22.Jump up ^ "Chart Track: Week 39, 2016". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 23.Jump up ^ "Classifica settimanale WK 39" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 24.Jump up ^ "Mexico Ingles Airplay : October 8, 2016". Billboard. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 25.Jump up ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 40, 2016" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved September 30, 2016. 26.Jump up ^ " – The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – Starboy" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved october 3, 2016. 27.Jump up ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. October 3, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 28.Jump up ^ "VG-lista - The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk / Starboy". VG-lista. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 29.Jump up ^ "Archive Chart: 2016-09-30". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 30.Jump up ^ "SNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: insert 201639 into search. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 31.Jump up ^ "Sverigetopplistan - Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 32.Jump up ^ " – The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk – Starboy". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved october 3, 2016. 33.Jump up ^ "Archive Chart: 2016-09-30" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved October 1, 2016. 34.Jump up ^ "The Weeknd – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Weeknd. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 35.Jump up ^ "The Weeknd – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for The Weeknd. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 36.Jump up ^ "The Weeknd – Chart history" Billboard Pop Songs for The Weeknd. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 37.Jump up ^ "The Weeknd – Chart history" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for The Weeknd. Retrieved September 27, 2016. 38.Jump up ^ Mench, Chris (September 22, 2016). "The Weeknd Drops Title Track to 'Starboy' Featuring Daft Punk". Complex. Retrieved September 24, 2016. 39.Jump up ^ "The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk "Starboy"". Radio Airplay s.r.l. Retrieved September 24, 2016. 40.Jump up ^ "BBC - Radio 1 - Playlist". BBC Radio 1. British Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on September 24, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016. 41.Jump up ^ "Available for Airplay". FMQB. Archived from the original on September 22, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016. 42.Jump up ^ "Top 40/R Future Releases". All Access. All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on September 22, 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2016.

External links[]

Lyrics of this song at Genius