The Weeknd knows he’s been one of the most influential artists of the last decade, sharing in a new interview that he believes several artists — namely R&B star Usher — copied his style on at least one record.
“‘House of Balloons’ literally changed the sound of pop music before my eyes,” the singer — whose real name is Abel Tesfaye — told Variety of his debut 2011 mixtape. “I heard ‘Climax,’ that Usher song, and was like, ‘Holy f–k, that’s a Weeknd song.’”
“Climax” was the debut single from Usher’s 2012 studio album “Looking 4 Myself.” The track went on to win a Grammy in 2013 for Best R&B Performance.
“It was very flattering, and I knew I was doing something right,” The Weeknd continued, “but I also got angry. But the older I got, I realized it’s a good thing.”
Many have taken to social media to contest the “After Hours” singer’s claim, with one Usher fan writing, “I swear I never see The Weeknd doing interviews and you’re telling me he took time out of his day to say that Usher stole his whole vibe with Climax ?? Almost a decade after it came out ?!”
Another fan of the “Yeah!” singer chimed in, adding, “OMG! Just heard @theweeknd say @Usher’s “Climax” is a Weeknd song, like Usher was inspired by him. No, it’s an Usher song. Where were you in 2001 when Usher sang “Can U Help Me” and other songs like that? You @theweeknd were INSPIRED by Usher’s sound. #TheDISrespect!”
The Canadian singer-songwriter also acknowledged how much he’s been accused of borrowing his own musical style from the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, who he names as one of his main influences. He went on to call Jackson’s 1988 hit “Dirty Diana” the “blueprint to my music.”
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