The Weeknd Raises Over $2 Million in First NFT Auction

Key Takeaways

  • The Weeknd has minted his first NFT collection, raising $2.29 million in sales.
  • The collection featured previously unreleased music by The Weeknd. A token featuring a full song sold for $490,000.
  • Despite the criticism surrounding NFTs, the technology could hugely benefit musicians and other creators.

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Abel Tesfaye just made $2.29 million from his collaboration with Nifty Gateway. 

The Weeknd Gets Tokenized 

Abel Tesfaye, the platinum-selling R&B artist better known as The Weeknd, just made $2.29 million from his first NFT collection. 

He sold the pieces through Gemini-owned Nifty Gateway, an NFT marketplace that’s recently sold tokenized work by Calvin Harris, Steve Aoki, and Grimes, among others. The collection was put together alongside visual artist Strange Loop Studios, who The Weeknd worked with to develop the creative direction. The collection also featured a previously unheard The Weeknd song. 

The drop included three open editions, two silent auctions, and two raffles. The cheapest pieces priced at $100, while others were sold to the highest bidders. The open editions, which featured excerpts of The Weeknd’s unreleased track, raised $1.4 million in a 15-minute sale window. 

The auction’s showstopper was a unique token of an animated video accompanied by the full song. Bidding ran for 24 hours and closed at $490,000 on Sunday evening. Adding in the open editions, the auction made a total of $2.29 million. 

When he announced the drop, The Weeknd said: 

“I’ve always been looking for ways to innovate for fans and shift this archaic music biz and seeing NFTs allowing creators to be seen and heard more than ever before on their terms is profoundly exciting. I intend to contribute to this movement and can see that very soon it will be weaved into the music industry’s mechanics.”

NFTs Draw Criticism 

Like many other artists who have recently used NFTs to release music, The Weeknd faced a backlash from…

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