Americans first discovered the delightful music of Ed Sheeran in 2012 after the tremendous impact already made in the United Kingdom with his quintuple platinum debut album for Asylum Records “+,” which spawned two top-five singles, “The A-Team” and “Lego House.” This stunningly creative collection of songs would be the catalyst for Sheeran being considered one of this generation’s most imaginative songwriters. As such, Sheeran was contacted by Taylor Swift after hearing his music while touring in Australia, and they co-wrote “Everything Has Changed,” a single featured on Swift’s fourth album “Red.” It was the biggest-selling new album of 2012 and was nominated for “Album of the Year” at the 2014 Grammy Awards. Sheeran also contributed two songs on Simon Cowell’s hit boy band One Direction’s second studio album, “Take Me Home.” The songs were “Over Again,” and the single “Little Things,” with the latter becoming the group’s second #1 hit in the UK. Meanwhile, Sheeran’s own music was making people take notice here in the U.S. as his debut album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200, and earned “The A Team” a Grammy nomination for “Song of the Year” at the 2013 Grammy Awards. Sir Elton John, who runs Sheeran’s management company, lobbied the award organizers to get him a performance slot at the ceremony, but was told that Sheeran alone was not high-profile enough. So, Sir Elton decided to appear along with him to circumvent this problem. Sheeran remembers the phone call, “I got a call from Elton being like, ‘I couldn’t get you a solo slot, but would you mind playing with me?’” This high-profile performance at the Grammys legitimized Sheeran as a true artist. Sheeran’s second studio album is titled “X” (read as “multiply”), and hit #1 on both the UK Albums Chart and the U.S. Billboard 200. His latest single, “Thinking Out Loud,” has been sitting pretty at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the last couple of weeks, seemingly unable to bump the massive #1 hit of Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk.” But, I wouldn’t feel too sorry for Sheeran, after all, coming this July he will be headlining at London’s Wembley Stadium for three consecutive nights beginning July 10th as part of his “X” world tour.

In 1975, The O’Jays had a #1 R&B hit song called “Living For The Weekend.” Forty years ago they were talking about getting through the work week to enjoy Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, aka: the “weekend.” Fast forward to 2015, and when you hear the term “The Weeknd,” it’s very possible that it’s not referencing those three days we can’t wait to get to every week, it won’t be spelled correctly, and it might be the name of the latest pop artist, “The Weeknd.” In the words of Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a changin’.” Canadian born with the very non-pop star name, Abel Tesfaye, The Weeknd started in late 2010 when he anonymously uploaded several songs to YouTube under the name “The Weeknd.” He released three nine-track mixtapes throughout 2011: “House of Balloons,” “Thursday,” and “Echoes of Silence,” which were critically acclaimed. The following year, he released a compilation album, “Trilogy,” consisting of remastered versions of the mixtape material and three additional songs. It was released under Republic Records and his own label XO. “Trilogy” charted at #5 on the Canadian Albums Chart, and #4 on the U.S. Billboard 200 with first-week sales of 86,000 copies. In May 2013, “Trilogy” was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and double platinum by Music Canada. In 2013, he released his debut studio album, “Kiss Land,” which was supported by the singles “Kiss Land” and “Live For.” The Weeknd has received praise from several music publications including Pitchfork, MTV, BET, Rolling Stone, XXL and The Source. Music journalists associate the Weeknd with PBR&B, also referred to as R-Neg-B, hipster R&B and alternative R&B. He is considered part of an emerging wave of recording artists whose music expands on the sound and sensibility of R&B. Riding the wave of Billboard Hot 100 Hits like “Love Me Harder,” the duet with pop star Arianna Grande that peaked at #7, and his own current #7 Hot 100 hit, “Earned It,” from the “Fifty Shades Of Grey” soundtrack, I think it’s safe to say that you’ll be hearing more from “The Weeknd” in weekends to come. That’s definitely hot, and pretty happenin’.