The Weeknd (a.k.a. Abel Tesfaye) recently celebrated a major milestone when his hit single “Blinding Lights” marked 90 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart—an all-time record. Now he’s celebrating the record with a series of limited-edition NFT collectibles released through Tom Brady’s Autograph platform and the OpenSea marketplace.
The seven Ethereum NFTs mark a collaboration between the artist, Autograph, music industry publication Billboard, and collectible cards startup The Infinite. The Weeknd recently released physical trading cards inspired by the milestone via his official website.
The NFTs are currently listed on OpenSea, and auctions for each will begin this afternoon and run into Thursday. Six of the NFTs feature footage from the “Blinding Lights” music video, while the other shows The Weeknd on the cover of Billboard. All seven NFTs have been digitally signed by the artist.
The Weeknd’s first NFTs on Autograph—co-founded by Brady, the NFL icon—have been expected since the musician joined the company’s board of directors in October. He will help launch Autograph’s music collectibles vertical, following the platform’s initial sports focus and gradual expansion into entertainment (including licensed film NFTs).
“The same way that we had Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, and our other athletes lead the sports vertical into the world,” Autograph CEO Dillon Rosenblatt told Decrypt last month, “we see The Weeknd leading our music vertical and pulling in people that are close to him ... and then building out a similar group of true thought leaders in the space, led by Abel.”
An NFT is a blockchain-backed token that proves ownership for a digital item. Ethereum is currently the leading platform for NFT collectibles, and the market has ballooned throughout 2021, with an estimated $22 billion in trading volume so far this year.
Previous Autograph drops have been minted on Polygon—a layer-2 scaling solution for Ethereum that cuts down on fees and energy consumption—and released exclusively through the DraftKings Marketplace. The Weeknd’s first drop bucks both trends, albeit with a significantly smaller collection size than other Autograph drops.
Autograph was founded in April and released its first NFTs in August featuring Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl champion and increasing crypto and NFT advocate. Since then, the platform has launched NFT collectibles from fellow athletes like Woods, Simone Biles, Tony Hawk, Wayne Gretzky, and Naomi Osaka.
While today’s drop marks The Weeknd’s first project with Autograph, he has already released NFTs on another platform. Back in April, he launched digital collectibles on Nifty Gateway, generating more than $2 million from the sale.